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Burger King feeds nightmares with ghoulish Halloween stunt


Craving a good night’s rest? Then there are some foods you should avoid eating before settling down for a long sleep: ice cream, pizza, cereal and garlic are all said to disturb our slumber.

It’s also widely accepted that cheese before bedtime can affect sleep quality. But what about burgers?

Rather than ghosts and ghoules haunting your dreams, Burger King has released a new burger with a nightmare-inducing recipe in celebration of Halloween.

With its seasonal makeover, the novelty sandwich is filled with a quarter-pound of beef under a crispy chicken fillet, bacon, cheese, mayo, and onions – nothing unusual there – but all housed within a nuclear-green glazed bun.

The limited-edition spooky sandwich has been developed in collaboration with sleep experts and food scientists after a 10-night experiential study set out to prove that it can actually give people nightmares.

The detailed experiment involved 100 participants who each had to eat a whole Nightmare King burger before trying to head to the land of nod in Florida’s Sleep and Neuro Centre.

Burger King Nightmare King 1

Overnight, various signals from the sleeping subjects were tracked including their heart rate, brain activity and breath. From this a group of doctors and scientists were able to identify whether any of the individuals had vivid dreams.

So, can a burger cause nightmares? The Nightmare King was clinically proven to increase the chance of experiencing a terrifying dream by 3.5 times. Some participants were interviewed after the experiment and recalled their freaky dreams where snakes, aliens and giant burgers all featured.

Dr. Jose Gabriel Medina, the study’s lead doctor, suggested that the unique combination of proteins and cheese in the Nightmare King led to “an interruption of the subjects’ REM (Rapid Eye Movement) cycles, during which we experience the majority of our dreams.”

While it’s not often a food brand strives to give their customers nightmares, the fast food chain has certainly piqued the public’s interest with its latest stunt at a time when we’re all actively seeking out the scares. Not only does the bright green bun stand out as being devilishly different, but it sets out a challenge for people to test it out for themselves.

Burger King Nightmare King 2

Unsurprisingly, the Nightmare King attracted lots of media attention across the likes of USA Today, Daily Mail and Buzzfeed, and was amplified further by the brand sharing photo and video content to its vast number of social media followers – 1.5m on Instagram alone.

Innovative, memorable and intriguing, this clever experience hooks on to a seasonal opportunity to effectively build on brand loyalty.

Burger King is no stranger to Halloween-themed stunts after this spooky ghost experience. And those who fear zombies more than ghosts would have been terrified by The Walking Dead’s experiential tactics to promote season 9.