The restaurant chain teased the commercial on Twitter earlier, showing the King mascot eating a Whopper in front of a drab background similar to the one in the famous Warhol video.
As Open Culture explains, the Warhol video comes from Danish filmmaker Jørgen Leth's film 66 Scenes from America. The Warhol sequence is the single longest sequence in the film, coming at the halfway mark. At the end, Warhol says, "My name is Andy Warhol, and I just finished eating a hamburger."
Daily Art reports that Warhol and Leth did not know each other when Leth arrived in the U.S., but was a big fan of Warhol's work. He arrived at Warhol's Factory and pitched him the idea for the scene. Warhol immediately liked the idea because he thought it would be something he would come up with himself. After all, one of Warhol's most famous works is his Campbell Soup cans.
he's here. pic.twitter.com/Bv4PUOymQx— Burger King (@BurgerKing) February 3, 2019
Warhol later went to a photo studio Leth set up. Leth had a variety of fast food laid out on the table, but Warhol was disappointed to see there was no McDonald's hamburger. Still, Warhol filmed the scene, which just shows him unpacking the Burger King burger and eating it slowly. The scene takes four minutes.
Burger King's commercial was not the only one with a Warhol connection, a clear testament to his continued importance in pop culture. As AdAge notes, the Coca-Cola commercial that ran before the National Anthem included a poem inspired by Warhol's 1975 book The Philosophy of Andy Warhol. In the book, Warhol wrote, "A Coke is a Coke and no amount of money can get you a better Coke than the one the bum on the corner is drinking."
Surprisingly, the Burger King commercial is the chain's first to air during a Super Bowl since 2006. The spot runs 45 seconds and while many other brands release theirs before the game, Burger King chose not to.
Warhol was born in Pittsburgh in 1928 and died in 1987 at age 58. His work showed an obsession with famous American brands and icons, from Campbell's Soup to Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe.
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