By: Kayla Hunt, Columnist
May is designated as National Mental Health Awareness Month, where people raise awareness for the importance of maintaining mental health and strive on spreading resources and support to those in need.
Burger King has partnered with the non-profit organization Mental Health America to promote mental health awareness through their new Whopper meal box: Real Meals.
Real Meals are the antithesis of their competitor McDonald’s famous product, Happy Meals. This product is launching their #FeelYourWay campaign. The product is not only a competitive marketing strategy, but it is also a statement of accepting that people are not always happy all the time and that is okay.
Burger King emphasizes this in their two minute long commercial for their new campaign. The commercial depicts people feeling different emotions for a variety of reasons and Burger King’s main message is that it is okay to feel these emotions, we don’t have to feel happy all the time.
Real meals come in five different packaging designs to represent a range of emotions: pissed in red, sad in blue, salty in teal, YAAAS in purple, and DGAF in black.
There are different angles to perceive the core purpose of this campaign. Some are praising Burger King for their acknowledgment of people’s various mood swings and their understanding of the pressure put on to those to be happy. The #FeelYourWay campaign relieves that pressure and disseminates the message that feeling your way is not a bad thing.
However, it can also be viewed that this is a ploy on increasing people’s poor eating choices when their mental health isn’t aligned. Researchers have been studying the correlation between depression and poor eating habits, and debating which one comes first: poor eating habits leading to depression or depression leading to poor eating habits? Either way, studies have shown that your eating habits do affect your mental health.
Mental health is deeper than the surface of mood swings and emotions, but it is imperative to recognize that sometimes people are not going to be okay and we shouldn’t always expect them to be. The intentions of Burger King’s new campaign may be blurry, but their message is important in today’s society of “perfectness” and “living your best life.”