Marketing Breakdown

Allan Woodstrom's Marketing Blog

I Like My Friends, But I Love the Whopper

with 3 comments

Burger King's Whopper Sacrifice Facebook App

Burger King's Whopper Sacrifice Facebook App

Burger King, home of the flame broiled Whopper, has recently launched yet another unique, edgy, marketing campaign. The brand that brings you The (creepy) King, meat smelling body spray, and many other odd, attention grabbing campaigns, is at it again. The Whopper Sacrifice is a new Facebook application that provides users with a coupon for a free Whooper, if the user is willing to sacrifice 10 friends from his/her Facebook account.

There has been a lot of negative feedback on this campaign, citing the fact that it encourages users to exhibit anti-social behavior on a platform fueled by social connections. Many bloggers are shocked that Burger King would launch an application that doesn’t make friends, but instead creates potential enemies. Good or bad, it certainly got a lot of press.

Which is exactly why this is a brilliant campaign – it is a unique idea, funny, and it has sparked a lot of attention and discussion. It has all the ingredients for a successful campaign: the brand is getting a ton of exposure and it is driving users to a measurable, revenue driving (most will buy a soda and/or fries), event when customers visit to Burger King to redeem the coupon.  Not to mention it is  accomplishing what all marketers hope and wish for, it has gone viral.

To those that argue that it is damaging to the brand, you are taking this campaign way too seriously. Facebook users have plenty of pseudo-friends and are easily able to remove “friends” without damaging any real/online relationships, this is simply a funny way of cleaning up a friend’s list. Also, the fact that people will actually go through with this shows that the Whopper must be THAT good, right?

Although a great campaign, it could certainly be improved. Sure, this was pretty viral, getting over 15,000 users in its first day, but Burger King missed an opportunity by not having a way to encourage users to invite friends to add the application. This could have been accomplished through a feature to get free fries by having enough “true friends” identify a certain user’s friendship as being worth more than a Whopper.

Another fun idea to improve on the idea would be to add a level of competitiveness to the application, like awarding the Whopper’s biggest fan, the user willing to sacrifice the most friends, with free Whopper’s for a year.

Overall, great idea, very good execution.


3 Responses

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  1. First virgins, then sacrifices… I wonder if a Whopper religious movement is in the works…

    Seriously though, good points! I think this is exactly what BK wanted to happen – good or bad, if people are talking about it, their money was well spent! (And being a Facebook app, it probably wasn’t an outrageous budget.)

    So, Josh… my apologies if you suddenly can’t read my wall posts or see my updates. I mean, I like you, but I love that Whopper. Jk…


    January 9, 2009 at 10:29 am

  2. By now you’ve learned that this was pulled. I think they learned that you don’t create applications that diss your users. I like to equate it to telling a woman, and I think women were easily offended by this, in a public place that her friendship isn’t worth a tenth of a Whopper. Even if she thinks the relationship isn’t close, and even if she thinks Whoppers are delicious, she is still gonna feel a bit slighted by getting publicly put down.


    January 15, 2009 at 11:07 am

    • WomenCertified, thanks for the comment, but I don’t think it is that serious. I guarantee that Burger King’s agency did their research and found that there are plenty of people out there like myself. Basically I have hundreds of friends, many of which I added after a fun night of hanging out and/or partying with in college. I added them as a friend becuase I wanted to see who they were, ect. Five years later, I haven’t gone through and deleted any friends that I haven’t talked to in many years. Quite frankly I probably should. That’s why I and many others love this campaign.

      Thanks for sharing your opinion though.

      Allan Woodstrom

      January 15, 2009 at 11:36 am

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