The Whopper Campaign

Burger King along with their ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky recently launched a Facebook application named Whopper Sacrifice. Burger King's tongue in cheek Facebook application had users delete 10 friends from their network to receive an e-mailed coupon for the new Angry Whopper. The friends were then sent a message announcing their deletion in favor of a fast food sandwich. Ouch...

To date, Burger King claims 232,566 friends were deleted in favor of the free Whopper. In addition, the campaign has sparked controversy with more than the 232,566 former Facebook friends. After going live for only a couple of days, the application was hacked allowing people to get a free burger without dismissing 10 friends. Then Facebook shut down the application proclaiming it violated user's privacy. The termination is allegedly temporary, but after being hacked and shut down by Facebook I wouldn't be surprised if the app was gone for good.

While some may say this campaign has been unsuccessful I have to disagree. The controversy surrounding Whopper Sacrifice has generated so much buzz that I'm sure Burger King has far surpassed its awareness goals. A quick Google search will show you that articles about the campaign have appeared in the New York Daily News, L.A. Times, Media Post, New York Times and MSNBC to name a few.

That is not to say I don't have my own criticisms of the campaign. While I admire Burger King and CP+B for thinking outside the box and using social media in a unique way, I'm not sure of the overall strategy. This Facebook application has certainly raised awareness and encouraged people to try the Angry Whopper, but it also flies in the face of Facebook creators. Typically the idea is to gain friends not lose them. An application that forces users to lose friends is sure to get Marc Zuckerberg a little miffed. True, Facebook is not hurting for users, but I wonder how eager they or other social networking sites will be to work with these companies in the future.

Have Burger King and CP+B jeopardized their standing with social networks?


Did you see that you can now send an angry gram to anyone that sacrificed your friendship for a Whopper.

February 11, 2009 at 10:20 AM  

Yes! They are really doing a good job of making the most out of their campaign.

February 11, 2009 at 10:34 AM  

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