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Burger King gets customers fired up about net neutrality — with Whoppers

The fast food chain tackles the complexities of equal internet access in its latest commercial-turned-PSA.
/ Source: TODAY

“The Whopper actually taught me about net neutrality,” one customer says in a new ad for Burger King.

“It’s stupid but true.”

Just a few months after releasing its generally well-regarded anti-bullying PSA, the fast food chain is tackling another hot-button issue. This time, it's internet speed and equal access for all — also known as net neutrality.

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) recent repeal of net neutrality allows internet service providers (ISPs) to speed up, slow down or block any content, applications or websites as they wish. Previously, all content (whether it was a video, image or something else) was treated as equal. The repeal of the principle means that, in theory, you could wind up paying a lot more to get access to certain types of content based arbitrary provider guidelines.

But in case you were still confused about what any of that means, Burger King decided to reenact it using the Whopper.

In the new commercial, customers who order their burgers at the regular price are angry when they find out they have to wait longer to receive it than to those who paid increased fees for "faster service" — in some cases, real customers paid almost five times more to get their meal quickly.

The employees explain to the confused customers that “Burger King Corporation believes they can make more money selling things like chicken sandwiches and chicken fries, so now they’re slowing down the access to the Whopper.”

They point to the menu which reads: "Whopper MBPS (making burgers per second), Slow: $4.99, Fast $12.99, Hyperfast: $25.99."

Burger King Net Neutrality Ad
Burger King

Though the commercial is tackling a pretty serious issue, many customers’ reactions are hilarious.

“My god, this is the worst thing I’ve ever heard of!” one man exclaims. Another says she feels like she's going insane.

On social media, some people seem to be confused. “Burger King should stick to making food,” one customer wrote on Facebook. “I don't want every single facet of my life to involve policy debate.”

But others are loving the fact that the restaurant is taking a political stand. “Thank You Burger King for standing with the people and helping us try to save the internet,” another wrote in the Facebook comments. “You have just made a customer for life.”

So, why did the fast food chain decide to do this ad in the first place? Fernando Machado, Burger King's global chief marketing officer, said the company wanted to call attention to the potential effects of repealing net neutrality. “We believe the internet should be like Burger King restaurants, a place that doesn’t prioritize and welcomes everyone,” he said in a statement issued to TODAY Food.

And in case there's any lingering doubt as to where the Whopper chain stands on the issue, the ad even concludes with the King sipping from a giant mug — a not-so-subtle jab at FCC chairman Ajit Pai, who has been known to drink out of a giant mug with Reese's branding during press conferences.

“I didn’t think that ordering a Whopper would open up my eyes to net neutrality,” concludes one of the customers in the video.

Hey, we didn’t either, but somehow it did — and made us crave a burger at the same time.