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So Wrong Its Right: Moldy Burgers & Breakout Campaigns

Bridget Johnston January 4, 2021

From “smaht parking” a car to “a match made in Hell,” last year proved this: The best campaigns contained breakout ideas. 

But what can be found in the details of these amazing ads? 

Throughout 2020, Pattern89 analyzed what creative content would succeed. Our platform predicted what would work, before campaigns began. 

Often, these predictions were seen in the year’s breakout marketing campaigns. 

Breakout Marketing Campaign: Burger King’s Moldy Whopper

Early in 2020, Burger King launched an ad campaign that touted the fast food chain’s removal of artificial food preservatives. Their imagery and videos showed a burger, slowly spoiling and getting covered in mold. 



Needless to say, this breakout idea caused a huge buzz, garnering the company tons of attention in the press and social media. It also set them apart from competitors, by explicitly visualizing the assets that make their food different. 

Talking about moving away from artificial ingredients and preservatives isn’t new though. This messaging has been big for a few years with fast food brands. McDonalds and Chick-fil-A communicated similar messages before Burger King.

Today’s consumers prefer food with fewer ingredients, and all three fast food chains’ messaging addresses this. Still, you’re likely to only remember one of their campaigns– Burger King’s moldy Whopper.

The reason this ad was so successful and memorable was because: 

  • It used a bold, breakout idea to grab attention.
  • The team behind the campaign embraced highly-relevant messaging to address the modern consumer’s needs.
  • It also used highly-appealing visuals to engage viewers.

AI Can Predict to Your Next Breakout Marketing Campaign 

Creative provides the largest opportunity for marketers today. Consumers want creative diversity and algorithms for digital ads prioritize creative new and engaging content. 

How can you find your next breakout idea? 

How can you ensure a moldy burger is in your future? 

Creative marketers need to trust in, and understand, algorithms. While a team of humans will come up with the breakout idea of showcasing a moldy burger, only an in-depth analysis of marketing data can tell you the copy, imagery, and video length will get your ads the most clicks and conversions. 

Pattern89’s artificial intelligence predicted trends in food and drinks that supported the what happened in advertising when Burger King debuted their moldy Whopper ad. It can also predict what trends will work for your campaigns tomorrow.

By simulating creative performance, Pattern89’s AI will help your creative teams with: 

  • Image Direction – Creative direct with confidence. Pattern89 determines what image elements, colors, settings, facial expressions and more will help your campaigns reach their specific goals. 
  • Video Direction – Learn the video lengths, colors, onscreen text and creative assets your ads will need to succeed. 
  • Copywriting – Know what copy, emojis and character counts will work for you.
  • Ad Formatting – Get direction on which exact image dimensions will succeed on each platform and medium.

The most successful marketers in 2021 will blend their highly-human breakout ideas with insights from artificial intelligence. 

As more great ideas come and go, AI will help yours get traction.