Your Facebook friends are real people. But one marketing campaign challenged fans to dump ten friends to get a tasty prize. Seriously.
The story comes from Serious Eats, a website of people who are not kidding around about food and especially food marketing.
Their article is titled Unfriend 10 People on Facebook, Get a Free Whopper.
Burger King [offered] a free Whopper if you unfriend 10 people on Facebook. Use the WHOPPER® Sacrifice application on Facebook to get started. Maybe you have 10 Facebook friends you don’t care about. Or join forces with other random Whopper lovers and use [aka, dump] each other just to get a coupon for a free Whopper.
Let’s all take a good look at what you’re getting in exchange for deleting people from your virtual life:
This promotion is long gone, but the comments on Serious Eats remain. One from a user named “Big B” details the brutality of this campaign:
FYI, unlike when you normally delete a friend on FB, if you do a Whopper sacrifice the victim *will* receive a notification… saying that they were sacrificed for a burger.
What does the Whopper Sacrifice marketing campaign have to do with failure? Just about everything. First: this is fairly negative as far as marketing goes. Burger King is saying (albeit somewhat jokingly) that their burgers are better than having friends. That’s just cruel.
Second, the BK team is taking advantage of self-created “negative” publicity. Being cocky is part of their brand, and apparently, it works.
Failure is the secret to success. Maybe the Whopper Sacrifice program didn’t last (perhaps because they gave away too many free flame-broiled burgers) but it shows a willingness to take risks. That’s the essence of creativity, in marketing and beyond.