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Earlier this week, we got wind of Burger King's awkward "Whopper Sacrifice" marketing campaign, which asks people to delete 10 of their Facebook Friends in exchange for a Whopper.You know this was coming .. Facebook blocked the app, citing privacy violation, and Burger King had to drop the Facebook campaign, citing stupidity.A total of 233,906 Facebook users found themselves "de-friended" in the name of a hamburger before Facebook requested the application by changed.Usually when a friend is removed on Facebook, no announcement is made, however the Whopper Sacrifice application created an update to inform the deleted friend that they had been "sacrificed for a free Whopper".Facebook objected to the de-friending notification because it "ran counter to user privacy by notifying people when a user removes a friend."However, Burger King decided to pull the campaign rather than continue the application with restrictions, because they had no idea how to fix it.The Whopper Sacrifice website now reads: "Whopper Sacrifice has been sacrificed."

The campaign was created by ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which raised controversy with its Whopper Virgins and hamburger scented cologne ads last month. Somebody's account is getting an early review this year!

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  • glad i signed up early!
  • Agreed. Exactly my thoughts on the "G"-ed up Gatorade campaign as well.
    I guess the Gatorade campaign was easier to swallow because it aimed higher. This one aimed lower, in a way.
    There is a good weird and then there's weird weird.
  • I get what you're saying about brand equity but I have a few thoughts on that. Crispin's done an amazing job with their viral campaigns...I mean who really talks about McDonalds anymore? Do they appeal to you or me? Maybe or maybe not. Who are they ultimately appealing to? Young-ish boys who consume a lot of fast food. By creating weird and kooky campaigns they're reaching their target market. Wouldn't you say?
  • Sure, they've hit their coupon quote. But what did that do for their brand?
    These campaigns of late have left a bitter aftertaste in my mouth.
  • Yes, Burger King should have done their homework...but then again...my guess is that they knew what they were doing. Those guys at Crispin Porter + Bogusky are smarter than that. They probably just wanted to create buzz and get people talking about Burger King again. Whether or not that's going to help them sell more burgers however, is the real question.

    23,000 coupons have been issued for the 234,00 0 friends sacrificed. In an interview last week, Brian Gies, vice president for marketing for the fast-food chain, said Burger King intended to limit the promotion to 25,000 Whopper coupons. They were close to their goal before the contest was shut down. Fail? Questionable. It all sounds sneaky to me. Maybe it played out perfectly.
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