Burger King Serves Unhappy Meals for Mental Health Awareness Month

By Bryan Le 05/06/19

The fast food chain wants to serve customers with meals for every mood with its “Real Meals.”

Burger King's Real Meals in partnership with Mental Health America
A meal for every mood. Photo via YouTube

Burger King is serving up Real Meals for Mental Health Awareness Month, giving customers who aren’t happy to eat something that better matches their head space. The meals are almost certainly a dig at McDonalds’ Happy Meals, which Burger King seems to believe do not accurately reflect the human condition.

Instead, the May meal lineup includes a red Pissed meal, a sad Blue meal, a teal Salty meal, a purple YAAAS meal, and a black DGAF meal.

“With the pervasive nature of social media, there is so much pressure to appear happy and perfect,” the company said in a press release. “With Real Meals, the Burger King brand celebrates being yourself and feeling however you want to feel.”

Burger King is undertaking the stunt in partnership with a non-profit organization called Mental Health America.

For those hoping that each meal reflects the mood labeled on the box, there’s bad news: they’re all the same on the inside. Each meal comes with a Whopper, fries and a drink. They also aren’t on the menu everywhere, only in Austin, Seattle, Miami, Los Angeles and New York.

The campaign also includes television spots that feature people experiencing a range of emotions and the hashtag #FeelYourWay. At the end of the roughly two-minute advertisement, the campaign’s motto splashes across the screen: “No one is happy all the time, and that's OK.”

Some Twitter users found the whole campaign a bit tone-deaf, particularly in equating emotions like YAAAS to real mental health threats such as depression.

“wow thank you for raising awareness about 'yasss,' it claims too many lives every year,” wrote one Twitter user.

“Just punched a hole in my wall thinking about all the money I could have saved last year by just having Burger King instead of having to go to the psychiatric hospital,” posted another.

Some felt that the campaign’s slogans and wrappers did not treat such a complex and harmful problem with due sensitivity.

Burger King is no stranger to socio-political publicity stunts. When the Trump administration moved to end net neutrality, the fast food chain made a “social experiment” video that featured a Whopper “fast lane” to demonstrate the injustice of being able to pay for Internet speed.

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter