Despite only being a couple years over the age of 25, I do not understand Gen Z humor. At all. Having been raised on Mad TV and Chappelle’s Show, I find the comedy stylings of today’s young people just don’t translate. What’s funny about lip-synching over old movie clips and posting it to TikTok? Yet despite my disdain, there’s one prevalent Gen Z trope that sometimes hits for me: the remix.
Remixes have been a thing on YouTube for well over a decade, and their popularity shows no signs of abating. Everybody (or at least everybody worth associating with) loves the classic 2010 LazyTown/Lil Jon remix about baking cake. In that same food-centric vein, the internet is kicking off 2023 with a fixation on remixing, of all things, a Burger King ad.
Burger King’s infectious jingle, explained
Last fall, Burger King released a splashy new ad campaign for its flagship Whopper (and its other sandwiches) featuring a new jingle with easily quotable lines reminiscent of McDonald’s classic Big Mac ad from the ’70s. The new line of BK ads has become particularly embedded in the minds of NFL fans, as the sing-songy spots have been running ceaselessly during nearly every game.
When Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest on the field earlier this month, the NFL broadcast immediately cut to commercial. That commercial? “Two full meals, $5.99 eeeeeach!” It happened again later that night after Hamlin was rushed to the hospital: The on-field reporter gave an update on his condition, immediately followed by, “Chicken! Chicken! Chicken! Chicken!”
Despite the bad timing (or perhaps because of it), Burger King’s ad campaign seems to be a roaring success. I know this to be factually true because clever youngsters have been giving it the meme treatment for weeks.
No matter your taste in music, there’s a Burger King remix for you. There’s a trap version. There’s a version that amplifies the percussion. There’s a version that gets progressively faster for all the coked-up ravers. There’s a version that gets progressively slower for all the ballad lovers. Should you find the unedited ad soothing to fall asleep to, there’s a 10-hour version you can let play all night. One YouTuber even shared a behind-the-scenes look as he created his own BK remix. And if you’re a fan of subliminal messaging, someone even made a version of the commercial in reverse. Be careful with this one, though—it might give you a sudden urge to join the Navy.
Burger King has not yet responded to a request for comment on the trend. Perhaps the brand is busy creating its own remix to debut during the Super Bowl.