Like most jokes, the one Burger King is telling is all about timing.
Last month, Taco Bell and McDonald’s were playfully pretending that Taco Bell’s fun-to-say Waffle Taco would do anything besides just tickle the giant (newly restyled) clown. That whole fake feud was similar to when Steven Colbert ran for president: he made a lot of good points, got a lot of attention, nobody really took him all that seriously, it was fun and it was over.
But now Burger King waits for the laughter and titters to fade away, lets White Castle and Dunkin’ Donuts tell a couple, waits for a comedic “beat,” then announces they’re going to serve burgers for breakfast.
And we all get the joke: BK gave up.
There’s a whole school of “Aw, screw it,” style humor. It plays with our expectations. It zags. We all thought Indiana Jones was going to have an elaborate sabre/whip fight with that swordsman. He gave up and shot him. BK gave up and announced they’d serve burgers for breakfast.
After the joke, to keep the audience tittering, the King continued riffing:
“Selling Burgers at Breakfast at Burger King restaurants allows our guests to start their day being their way—either with the great flame broiled taste of our signature burgers and sandwiches or with our delicious suite of breakfast offerings.” – Spokesperson for BK
See? It’s part of the “Have It Your Way” branding.