In the United States, getting people to the polls is hard enough. In Brazil, even those who turn out to vote on Election Day often default to apathy, choosing to vote “blank/null” rather than pick a candidate, even in the upcoming presidential election.
To highlight Brazil’s looming issue of voters sitting out in large numbers—one recent poll found that 11 percent of the country’s voters planned to “vote blank”—and to send a universal message to nonvoters, Burger King and agency David São Paulo created a new product: the Blank Whopper.
Instead of having it made your way, this Whopper is made “their way,” with toppings selected for you by someone else. The results, as you might imagine from the stunt’s message, are far from tantalizing. Onions and mayo? Just pickles? No bread? Eat up!
“We wanted to show that casting a blank ballot is not as great as it sounds,” says Rafael Donato, creative vp of David São Paulo. “Each and every one of us deserves their country their way–and an informed voting decision is the first step in that direction.”
On the night of a recent presidential debate, the brand and its agency delivered about 30 Blank Whoppers to fans who left a comment about “voting blank.”
Brazil’s presidential election has been, as in many countries around the world, ideologically divisive, with far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro (often likened to Donald Trump) generally leading in the polls over center-left candidate Fernando Haddad, former mayor of Sao Paolo. Shifting the large number of “null” voters and nonvoters could make a huge difference for either candidate on Oct. 7 or in a subsequent runoff if neither candidate wins a majority of votes.
While it may be pitching a message of decisiveness, Burger King is, understandably if a bit ironically, remaining neutral. “Burger King does not support any candidate nor any party,” the campaign’s release states. “This promotion is not part of any election campaign.
Agency: David São Paulo
Campaign: Blank Whopper
Client: Burger King Brazil
Managing Director: Sylvia Panico
Creative VP: Rafael Donato
Creative Director: Edgard Gianesi
Copywriter: Maicon Silveira, Mayara Ribeiro e Lucas Vigliar
Art Director: Paulo Damasceno e Thiago Ferreira
Account: Carolina Vieira, Rafael Giorgino, Juliana Chediac, Roberta Magalhães, Martina Adati
Producer, DAVID: Fabiano Beraldo, Fernanda Peixoto, Brunno Cunha, Gustavo Viola
Planning: Daniela Bombonato, Carolina Silva, Bruno Gomiero
Head of Innovation and Technology: Toni Ferreira
Media: Marcia Mendonça, Mateus Madureira, Felipe Braga, Renata Oliveira, Carina Marçal
Social media: Lucas Patrício
Produtora: Delicatessen Filmes
Director: Décio Matos Jr.
Photography: Vitor Amati
Editor: Leon Mosditchian – The End
Sound Production: Jamute
Client Approval: Ariel Grunkraut, Thais Nicolau, Natalie Bursztyn, Raffaella Martellini, Marcelo Pascoa