Sometimes, an advert put out for a social cause doesn't go down well with the public, no matter how good the intentions are. That's what happened with a major fast food chain recently when their attempt at sarcasm backfired.
Burger King UK posted a tweet that said 'Women belong in the kitchen', that was actually meant as a criticism of the male-dominated cooking industry. However, it faced massive backlash online.
The tweet was originally meant to promote its new scholarship for female chefs. It was about helping increase the number of women in head-chef roles. The ad elaborates,
Fine dining kitchens, food truck kitchens, award-winning kitchens, casual dining kitchens, ghost kitchens, Burger King kitchens. If there's a professional kitchen, women belong there," the ad continued. "But can you guess who's leading those kitchens these days? Exactly. Only 24% of chef positions in America are occupied by women. Want to talk head chefs? The number drops to fewer than 7%.
However, people accused the brand of being tone-deaf on Women's Day, and of using a sexist trope as clickbait. Basically, the whole thing got a lot of hate online.
The engagement on your original tweet—which, again, is literally just a sexist trope—is 527% *higher* than the tweet announcing the scholarship program.— Kendall Brown (@kendallybrown) March 8, 2021
Way more people are seeing you validate sexism on #InternationalWomensDay than are learning about your scholarship program. pic.twitter.com/wMH2Drvomc
The plan was simple, get people to talk about Burger King by “accidentally” posting a misogynist tweet on international woman’s day pic.twitter.com/y8T5AFNRnm— Working on Villainverse Ch 5 (@Cheesymanfredo) March 8, 2021
She was asking for it...— Daley Haggar (@d_haggar) March 8, 2021
And by "it" we mean the $5 Whopper Meal at Burger King!#InternationalWomensDay
The Burger King Twitter handle finally took stock of the situation, and deleted the tweet. They also apologised and said they were wrong.
We decided to delete the original tweet after our apology. It was brought to our attention that there were abusive comments in the thread and we don't want to leave the space open for that.— Burger King (@BurgerKingUK) March 8, 2021
Regardless, the damage was already done, and the internet showed that apart from your intentions, the execution should also be done in the right manner.