It’s been one day since I wrote about The Whopper Freakout, when I learned about The Whopper Sacrifice. And, I have to hand it to the folks at the advertising agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky for serving up another brilliant campaign.

Here’s the gist of it:

You cancel 10 friendships on Facebook and you get a free Whopper.

Absolutely brilliant, a critique of what “friendship” means in the context of the social network, and provocative. I’m pretty sure everyone in this scenario was a winner. Regrettably Facebook failed it by shutting down the Whopper Sacrifice Application after 233,906 friendships were canceled. Michael Arrington deserves credit for highlighting the fact that shutting Burger King down when you’re trying to find ways to monotize your service is not wise.

I believe Burger King put it best when they wrote this on the shut-down microsite:

Facebook fails it

Facebook fails it

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5 Comments to Facebook Failed The Whopper Sacrifice

  1. Mollybob says:

    What about from Facebook’s perspective on this. Will reducing the size of people’s networks benefit them? How does reducing the size of networks relate to future income? Perhaps they thought they were protecting their network. With this thing going viral they most likely thought they were stopping further damage to their network. You’re right, the campaign was very clever and showed the power of things going viral, but it was also destructive.

    • admin says:

      Good question. My feeling is that most people on Facebook have a large percentage of contacts that are not actually friends and do not add value to the service. Therefore, this campaign has the added benefit of weeding out folks that aren’t really bringing value to your account. Plus, don’t forget you could always add them back later if you change your mind. On the whole 250,000 friends, even 2.5 million friends is a drop in the Facebook bucket. Facebook should protect me from weeding out my own account, or engaging in a transaction with another service of my choice …. I don’t think so. I actually think that a “weeded” account offers more value for Facebook to sell. There is a potential problem that arises if you try and scale though because people will simply start churning friends to take advantage of promotions. On the other hand, if their friends are willing to put up with it, I say let the market decide.

  2. […] on a Burger King binge here …. but I have to write one last post. In my over exuberance for their recent campaign I went out to grab a Whopper for lunch even though I am very much against fast food, and avoid it […]

  3. […] I didn’t see  much of note during the Super Bowl this year. I certainly wasn’t surprised to see the job site advertisements considering the financial crisis. I thought the Career Builder and  Monster spots were the most entertaining, for what that’s worth.  I do enjoy a dose of slapstick as much as the next guy though I was quite disappointed by the Facebook Suicide ad, especially considering the way they shut down the Whopper Sacrifice. […]

  4. […] means no more Whopper Sacrifice! (Reminder of how Facebook fecked that up.) Or the brilliant IKEA Facebook tagging competition by Forsman & Bodenfors over in Sweden. […]

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