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Burger King Will Never Not Be Thirsty for Your Attention

Plus, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz might be giving up on his presidential campaign, and more news to start your day

Burger King Offers Meatless Whopper In Its St. Louis Locations Michael Thomas/Getty Images

Chain-chain-chaaaaaain. Chain of fools.

Just a week after Burger King made an insipid attempt to parody McDonald’s Happy Meals with the intellectual rigor of a pre-teen saying “more like unhappy meal, am I right?!”, the company has a double-whammy (or...whopper) of ploys for consumer attention this week. First up is an initiative that the chain is rolling out in Mexico City called the “traffic jam Whopper”. True to name, it involves motorcyclists weaving in and out of traffic to deliver burgers to people stuck in traffic. Of course, there’s a pile of caveats — the app has to determine if you’ll be stagnant in traffic for at least 30 minutes to allow for delivery, and you need to be within about two miles of Burger King. It also runs the risk of congesting traffic...more.

On top of that, the chain also has an ad campaign pushing people to book “clown-free” children’s birthday parties at Burger King, accompanied by large images of children being terrorized by clowns. It’s clearly an attempt to emulate other ironically self-referential “brands that know they’re brands,” such as Wendy’s and Denny’s, by poking at its prime competitor, McDonald’s.

And in other news...

  • Starbucks founder and painful centrist Howard Schultz may have given up on his presidential campaign — following his wintertime attention-seeking tour, he’s been awfully quiet, making few appearances, although his staff say he hasn’t called off the campaign. [NY Mag]
  • After a Rhode Island school announced that kids with outstanding lunch debts would be given sad, jelly-based cold lunches, there’s now a GoFundMe to raise money to cover those students’ debts. [GoFundMe]
  • The latest institution to turn against gay-hating chicken purveyor Chick-fil-A is San Antonio’s Trinity University, where the student government voted to kick the chain off campus. [KSAT]
  • The “somebody left a Starbucks cup on the Game of Thrones set” drama continues, as actress Emilia Clarke says she didn’t leave the cup there because she doesn’t drink coffee. This comes after her colleague Liam Cunningham jokingly suggested the mistake was her fault on Conan earlier this week. [LA Times]
  • Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons is giving out free “mom-sized” coffees this Mother’s Day, because nothing says “thanks for birthing me” like 52 ounces of heart palpitations. [The Takeout]
  • Samin Nosrat says that the green salad at New York’s Via Carota might just be the best in the world. [NYT]
  • Fox News talked to a man who was eating ten eggs for breakfast because the void that is cable news airtime always needs filling. [Grub Street]

All AM Intel coverage [E]