Facebook may have killed off the Whopper Sacrifice in its prime: but not before Burger King’s promotion had seen more than 23,000 people strike off 10 of their friends in exchange for a free Whopper Sandwich token.
The burger chain’s promotion offered a free Whopper in exchange for Facebook members deleting 10 of their friends. The evil twist was that BK then notified the rejected friends that they had been unfriended and by whom, letting the victims know that their erstwhile friend valued them a less than one tenth the price of a burger. Claiming that this was breach of its users’ privacy, Facebook pulled the plug on the promotion after only ten days.
This was a short-lived, vicious but brilliant promotional device that perfectly exploited the nature of social media and the way that its devotees measure their own worth by the size of their friend lists. Its cheeky, memorable if somewhat brutal message made it stand out in a generally poor field, where brands are struggling to get to grips with the challenge of social media. It cost Burger King next to nothing and earned it a lot of valuable notoriety. The brand announced the demise of its offer with the words “In the end your love for the Whopper Sandwich was worth more than 233,906 friendships” and an offer to rejected friends to send an ‘AngryGram’ in the form of a talking Whopper to the person who defriended them. Brutal but perfectly attuned to the target market.