Burger King to Gays: Have We Got a Burger for You

Courtesy Burger King

In San Francisco, during the height of gay pride month, a local Burger King has declared itself a proud supporter of its gay customers with the introduction of the “Proud Whopper,” which is just a regular Whopper wrapped in rainbow packaging. It’s metaphor via sandwich: We’re all the same inside.

Proceeds from the limited-time-only $4.29 sandwich offer will be donated to the Burger King McLamore Foundation, the chain’s charity arm, to fund scholarships for college-bound lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender high school seniors graduating next spring. Burger King also launched an online video about the sandwich today, posted below.

“I hope when they see what we’re trying to do here, people will galvanize around this message of equality,” says Fernando Machado, Burger King’s senior vice president for global brand management. If the video is well-received, he says, he would consider expanding the campaign, which is part of Burger King’s new “Be Your Way” marketing tack, which replaces its longstanding “Have It Your Way” motto.

There are certainly advantages to making an external show of support of LGBT customers, especially during the biggest gay pride celebration in one of the most gay-friendly cities in the U.S. The buying power of gay consumers was estimated to be $743 billion in 2010, according to an analysis by Witeck-Combs Communications and Packaged Facts. The report found that more than half of surveyed gay and lesbian consumers were more likely to purchase products from companies that market directly to them.

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