All this time that Burger King has had commercials featuring their silent, plastic-headed King mascot, have you ever wondered what the King might have to say if he did more than stare at people with his mouth frozen open? The King, it turns out, is fluent in American Sign Language, and just hasn’t had anyone to talk to in his previous ad appearances. Maybe. Friday, however, is National ASL Day, and the King wants to have a new sign for “Whopper” ready for the occasion.
To announce the effort, the fast-food chain released a silent video featuring a surprise makeover of a typical Burger King with all of the signs, including the Burger King sign out front, redrawn using ASL alphabet hand shapes instead of letters. The sign out front says “BK,” for example.
To be clear, this is not actually how ASL users (who are mostly deaf or hard of hearing, and some people who hear but don’t speak) actually write words. They normally use Roman letters, just like everyone else. The people featured in the commercial get the message when they see the signage, though, and at least the ones featured in the ad seem delighted even before the King stops for a chat.
So far, Tweets using the #whoppersign hashtag are mostly from advertising sites writing about the campaign, but maybe some smart linguists will come up with something soon.