Burger King aired an ad during the Super Bowl on Sunday that featured archival footage of late artist Andy Warhol eating a Whopper.
The 45-second spot is simple. It shows Warhol taking the burger out of the bag and eating it. The spot ends with a hashtag: #EatLikeAndy.
A spokesperson for Burger King told BuzzFeed News that the ad was "37 years in the making."
The footage was originally shot by a Danish filmmaker, Jorgen Leth, in 1982. It was a four-minute video he shot as a part of his film, “66 Scenes from America."
The spokesperson said the ad was "meant to break through the traditional Super Bowl commercial break" as "an almost silent, yet powerful work of art.
"Beyond the simplicity of the spot, it has a deeper meaning," they said. "It is also a testament to one of Warhol’s most iconic quotes about the greatness of the United States: 'What's great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest.'"
The fast-food chain's global chief marketing officer, Fernando Machado, told Adweek an ad agency found the footage through research for the brand. They then worked to obtain rights to the footage from the Andy Warhol Foundation and those who owned the film rights.
Some fans of Warhol appreciated the ad.
But some didn't really get it.
And some were just confused.
Other fast-food restaurants, though, were jealous.
Machado told Adweek the ad was part of a campaign to "elevate the Whopper."
“We’re all huge fans of Andy Warhol,” he said. “I can think of very few people who are as iconic as Andy Warhol. He is someone who leveraged advertising to do art and here we have an opportunity to leverage art to do advertising. We thought that would be beautiful. On top of being creative and different, we believe it truly elevates the Whopper to its iconic stature.”
Jorgen Leth is a Danish filmmaker. An earlier version of this article, using information provided by Burger King, misidentified him as being Swedish. Thanks to all the helpful Danes who politely emailed us to correct this fact!