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The “Agency Of Robots” Behind Burger King’s Latest Ad Campaign

Robot

Artificial intelligence (AI) seems to be making great leaps forward in automated driving and in transforming the manufacturing workplace, but it’s still not human enough to take over advertising—at least according to Burger King.  

The fast food giant has released a series of ads that set out to mock AI by claiming to have been created by an “Agency of Robots” who turned Burger King into “Burger Thing” and invited everyone to “have it Uruguay”—and that’s not the worst of it.

In a Whopper ad, the purported AI version says, “The whopper lives in a bun mansion just like you. Order yourself today … Have it Uruguay.”

A second add woos the hungry with a description of chicken tenders that goes like this: "Gender reveal bad. Tender reveal young. It is a boy bird with crispy chicken tenders from Burger Thing." 

But in our favorite, purported robot ad whizzes opine that “Burger King’s new chicken fries are the new potato. … We are not sorry. The potato deserved this.”

It might suggest that robots have no business in advertising—yet—but they can still be programed to get snippy, apparently.

Finally, in the ad that is certain to become Burger King’s new logo, the “Agency of Robots” describes the chicken sandwich as a “bed of lettuce for you to sleep on”, with a “bed of mayonnaise for extra sleep”. This, against the backdrop of the proposed new logo: “Tastes Like Bird”. Related: Mining Deals Are Dwindling

Except that none of it is true.

Burger King’s AI ads were created by the David Miami agency and designed to mock artificial intelligence in what has ended up being a rather brilliant publicity stunt.

It’s a joke that is funny enough to pay off. In fact, some media have already fallen for the joke, regurgitating Burger King statements announcing the launch of this campaign that said it had created “a new deep learning algorithm that could give a glimpse into what the future of marketing and communications could look like.”

The ad campaign claims to have entailed an artificial neural network with “advanced pattern recognition capabilities” that was trained using high-end computing resources and big data. The campaign says it fed the AI a ton of fast food commercials and then it started coming up with its own, including opining that the chicken had “crossed the road to become a sandwich”.

For those who bothered to read further, this was the message:

“AI, bots, machine learning, deep learning algorithms, blockchain, among others—these are all topical as we explore our future in marketing,” says Marcelo Pascoa, Burger King’s global head of brand marketing. “But we need to avoid getting lost in the sea of technology innovation and buzzwords and forget what really matters. And that’s the idea. Artificial intelligence is not a substitute for a great creative idea coming from a real person.”

But surely the fear from ad agencies is still palpable. After all, we’ve already seen AI starting to replace fashion models—and no one even knew at first. AI could actually end up having the last laugh here.

By Michael Kern for Safehaven.com

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