Burger King has been on the leading edge of woke branding for a few years now, even before the company put out a video explaining net neutrality more than a year ago. Since then we've seen LGBT-themed sandwiches and shaving companies like Gilette talking about toxic masculinity, but Burger King isn't one to be outdone: The fast food company is now offering a student debt-cancelling sweepstakes.
Not even a week after billionaire Robert Smith promised to start a grant to wipe out the debt for the entire 2019 graduating class of Morehouse University, Burger King tweeted:
for real tho, we’re trying to pay off those loans. introducing Whopper Loans – make a purchase through the BK app for a chance to have your student loans paid off.
Student debt is a massive problem in the U.S. now, with more than 40 million Americans collectively owing $1.5 trillion. Burger King's raffle may be an objectively better plan than White House adviser Ivanka Trump's idea to fight debt by making student loans harder to get. But this is an ad campaign, first and foremost, designed to generate buzz and sell some Whopper Jr.s. It's naïve to expect a massive corporation that's driven to up its profits every quarter to actually be investing in ending the U.S. debt crisis, or to address any problem in a way that doesn't somehow enrich shareholders.
Like Smith's admittedly generous gesture to Morehouse students, this could do a tremendous job of improving the lives of whoever is lucky enough to win Burger King's "get out of crushing student debt" lottery. It's also cheaper, from Burger King's point of view, than paying more taxes or raising its employees' pay above the minimum wage.
Originally Appeared on GQ