Burger King won the enthusiastic admiration of countless creative directors when it launched Whopper Sacrifice last week. Already widely acknowledged as the king (if you don’t mind) of irreverent marketing and advertising (e.g. the Subservient Chicken and the Creepy King), BK hit the jackpot with this clever little Facebook app.
Like most smart interactive marketing gambits, Whopper Sacrifice is simple in its elegance. Users just install it, choose 10 of their Facebook friends to de-friend (or “sacrifice”) and sit back and wait for a free Whopper coupon to arrive in the mail (unless they’re Canadian, in which case they’re screwed.)
It’s a deliciously prankish little game. And it further contributes to Burger King’s status as the rule-breaking smart-ass in the fast food market — an enviable position when your target audience is largely young and male.
Whopper Sacrifice hasn’t come without a price, though. First off, no matter how “cool” the whole shebang might seem to most people, nobody hates a slick, successful online marketing campaign more than young computer hacks. Attempts to hack Whopper Sacrifice have so far been unsucessful. But don’t count ’em out yet. Also, users are finding creative ways to cheat the system. In a particularly pathetic case, this young woman posted a Craigslist ad to recruit new “friends” for the express purpose of de-friending them so she can get her free Whopper without actually offending any of her real online friends.
Really, though, all this attention is exactly what BK wanted. And now matter what you think about them, it’s refreshing to see a big company willing to do the daring stuff their marketing agency (the It boys at Crispin Porter + Bogusky) designs for them. As for me, I won’t be deleting any friends. But that’s because Whoppers are like Boone’s Farm and clove cigarettes. If you’re over 30, you probably know better.