People are often quipping that fast food has a drug-like quality that keeps customers coming back for more, but the folks at Burger King’s Russian operation are making the connection quite literal, while at the same time apparently poking fun at McDonald’s.
In the new BK TV ad above, you see a poppy flower being smashed by a Whopper. We don’t speak Russian, but according to the Moscow Times, the text in the ad states that “The time of poppies is over!” while the voice-over explains, “This is a poppy. It was popular once, but now its time has passed.”
The poppy reference has two meanings. First, BK points out to the Times that poppies are used to make narcotics like opium and heroin, implying that it’s time to put down the needle (or however else one chooses to partake of their opiates) and pick up a Whopper.
The second implication of the poppy hinges on the Russian translation of poppy, which is “mak.” Given that this sounds an awful lot like “mac,” the Times says that Russians use “mak” to refer to McDonald’s. And so the poppy-squishing Whopper is a visualization of Burger King’s goal of stomping on its larger rival.
Regardless, it appears that a number of Russian TV stations have chosen to not air the spot in its full version. So of course BK Russia has just posted it online, where it will probably get more attention than if it had just aired on television.