Which Gets More Attention — A Bullied Teen Or A ‘Bullied’ Burger? One Video Seeks To Find Out.

A few moments of heartbreak, a few moments of hope.

With October being National Bullying Prevention Month, Burger King set out to conduct an in-store, hidden-camera social experiment about bullying at an L.A. location. The question was wacky-yet-straightforward: would people be more affected by a bullied burger or a bullied teen? The results, to put it simply, were quite surprising and a bit unsettling.


Here's the set-up: a Burger King employee (an actor) would "bully" a Whopper Jr. by smashing it with his fists and serve it to customers (real people). Those patrons would also be confronted by seeing a high school junior (an actor) bullied by his peers (also actors). The experiment was to see which of the two situations — or both — the patrons would complain about more.

Before we give away too many spoilers, check out the video for yourself:

In the end, 95 percent of customers reported the bullied Whopper Jr. — complaining about how their burger had been treated. This compared to just 12 percent stood up for the high school junior being bullied — reacting to how a fellow human was being treated. Is a cheap food item worth more than potentially someone's life?

Before getting too depressed at seeing people up in arms about their mashed-up burger, there is a beacon of hope at the end of the video. We get to see how two people put their food aside to intervene in the bullying taking place in front of their eyes as opposed to on their plate. This shows that when bystanders who see bullying step up, they can put an end to it.

"We know that bullying takes on many forms: physical, verbal, relational, and online. But the first step to putting an end to bullying is to take a stand against it," No Bully's CEO and founder, Nicholas Carlisle, said. "Our partnership with Burger King is an example of how brands can bring positive awareness to important issues. You have to start somewhere, and they chose to start within."

No Bully — a San Francisco-based nonprofit founded in 2003 — is a collaboration of educators, psychologists, and lawyers working to prevent the current generation of students from enduring the bullying they experienced in school. This is important work since, according to a 2014 UNICEF study, each year 30 percent of students worldwide are the targets of bullying.

(H/T: Adweek)


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