Wednesday, 14 January 2009

A whopper of a Facebook application

Even if you’re not a fast food aficionado, you have to admit Burger King has some creative marketing folks.

They recently introduced a new Facebook application called "Whopper Sacrifice". How it works? You use the app to de-friend 10 people on your Facebook list and you get a coupon for a free Whopper. And the people you de-friend are notified that they've been de-friended, so you can let them know – in no uncertain flame-broiled terms - just how valuable their friendship is to you.

I wasn’t sacrificed, nor does it look like I’ll get the chance to be. After the sacrifice of 232,654 friends, Facebook sacrificed the application and took it down.

Stands to reason Burger King didn’t really intend for people to de-friend their buddies for a burger, but more likely were hoping people would think it funny enough to use and pass on so they could reach that ever-elusive viral marketing nirvana. After all, your friends will understand how much you love a Whopper and simply re-friend you, right?

Or maybe not. Maybe Facebook didn’t see equal amounts of re-friending and didn’t like what the de-friending trend meant for the health of their user base. Or maybe Burger King corporate thought they were giving away too many Whoppers. Guess we’ll never know, but I’d call it a success for Burger King either way.

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