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Burger chain courts blind diners with sesame seed Braille on buns

January 16, 2012|By Tiffany Hsu
  • In a frame from a promotional video, Wimpy bakers pull burger buns from the oven with words spelled out in Braille using sesame seeds.
In a frame from a promotional video, Wimpy bakers pull burger buns from the… (Wimpy )

In South Africa, restaurant chain Wimpy is welcoming blind customers -- by serving them burgers with words in Braille spelled out on their buns with sesame seeds.

In a viral YouTube video promoting its in-store Braille menus, the company shows the seeds being meticulously placed onto the bread with tweezers before being baked. Diners at three Braille organizations were then given the 15 burgers, which were marked with descriptions such as “100% pure beef.”

Fast-food advertising has always been heavy on the gimmicks and envelope-pushing. Carl’s Jr. has relied on beauty queens and racy spots featuring reality royalty such as Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton. A recent Burger King ad in Russia featured a tattoo artist and a unicorn.

The tactic isn’t always successful. After viewers took offense, Johannesburg, South Africa, chain Nando’s had to pull a cheeky ad campaign last year that featured dead dictators sharing a meal.

But word on the Web is that Wimpy’s work for the visually impaired is getting a far better reception. The ad itself claims that the 15 people who ate the burgers spread news of their experience to 800,000 others through Braille publications and organizations.

The original video -- there’s an alternate version with voiceovers -- has more than 240,000 hits and counting.

In the U.S., some fast food eateries offer Braille menus. Those who don’t must offer to read the entire menu to blind customers in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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