Choosing a Hamburger over Friendship

It has been said you can’t put a price on friendship. Well, perhaps that adage no longer applies in our Web 2.0 world. Burger King launched a clever app on Facebook recently that encouraged users to cull their friend lists, offering a coupon for a free Whopper for every 10 friends a user removes. The campaign, created by BK’s ad agency Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, included a signature edgy element for which CP+B has become known. The removed friend would receive notification that their friendship “has been sacrificed for a Whopper.” The app was an immediate hit as more than 80,000 users added the app and sacrificed more than 230,000 friends.

Now, the BK campaign is no longer doing the friend notification because there are questions about whether the practice violates Facebook users’ privacy rights (removed friends do not normally receive notifications they have been removed). The campaign is easy to criticize for not considering this aspect of Facebook users’ privacy expectations, and some may see the campaign as cheapening or diminishing the value of friendships.

The folks at CP+B are sharp, and they certainly factored in these possible responses when formulating the campaign. The campaign generated buzz when it launched and again now as it has created some controversy. For a brand like BK, being talked about is an important strategy to keep it on consumers’ minds. You can question the tastefulness of the Facebook friend sacrifice campaign’s brand building impact long term, but it has created buzz for BK in the short term.

Link: Online Media Daily – “Hiccup for Whopper Sacrifice Campaign”

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Author: Don Roy

Marketing educator, blogger, & consultant- Having fun with all of the above!

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