Burger King Blasted for Ad That Looks a Lot Like ‘Billy on the Street’

Billy Eichner tweeted at BK and it snowballed from there.

“Man on the street” interviews are popular in advertising. Brands love to take their product to the people to solicit for cheers and raves. But Burger King is getting an earful on Twitter for an ad that looks a little too much like comedian Billy Eichner’s popular “Billy on the Street” act.

Featured on the Fuse network and popular after an Emmy awards clip starring Seth Meyers, the sight of Eichner — mike in hand, celebrity in tow, yelling at the top of his lungs at all kinds of strangers — is now something we associate exclusively with him.

So handing over a mike to a man that looks a lot like Eichner and ending your commercial with some random yelling takes the generic “man on the street” idea and places it a little more in the territory of Eichner’s version of “Man on the Street.”

The similarities are so striking that Eichner himself took to Twitter to call out BK for the lookalike ad.

That’s bad enough. But then Eichner continued to sling tweets at BK and others have joined in. Some of the names on these Twitter handles are famous too. 

And seeing an opportunity, this little bit from McDonald’s.

These days, imitation must come with attribution. And, to be sure, the ad probably would be better if it included more of the energy that Eichner brings to his act. What’s more, with its history in wacky advertising, you’d think BK would turn to the King for inspiration.

We haven’t seen a response from Burger King, but if this keeps up, we’ll bet that there will be one coming.

h/t Business Insider and Buzzfeed

Publish date: October 13, 2014 https://stage.adweek.com/digital/burger-king-gets-blasted-on-twitter-for-ad-that-looks-a-lot-like-billy-on-the-street/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT