Last week, Burger King released an ad toting the beloved (at least by me) Walmart yodel kid singing a song about cow farts releasing methane and leading to green house gas emission. This video quickly went viral and was met with a lot of jokes and some mixed reactions, from annoyance, to frustration, and honestly, a lot of confusion. Personally, I fell within the confused group. On one hand, I was glad that Burger King was still using and promoting real beef on their menu. On the other hand, the video seemed to provide a lot of misinformation that did not represent the beef industry well. I couldn’t be angry, but it certainly didn’t make me crave a Whopper!
Since then, Burger King has pulled the ad and has enlisted the help of Dr. Frank Mitloehner of UC Davis who specializes in air quality to ensure accuracy of their advertisements. I had the chance to hear Dr. Mitloehner speak at the International Livestock Congress at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo earlier this year and was so impressed by his presentation on the impact of livestock on the environment. Prior to the BK video release, Dr Mitloehner was active on social media sharing his insights and experience. Since the video dropped, more scientific information about the impact of livestock production on the environment, and people are listening.
It is encouraging to see a company like Burger King make the decision to work alongside the livestock industry to accurately promote a product. Admitting that their claims weren’t what they initially thought and being willing to stop the distribution of costly advertisements is a huge step. In the future, I hope to see more companies work with experts in animal science, whether that be farmers and ranchers, faculty at Universities, or others in the industry from the beginning to ensure factual advertising. This could go a long way to promote their product, accurately represent the ag industry and build consumer confidence in the food they eat.