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The Short Story of Burger King ‘Whopper’ App on Facebook

Posted by Vaibhav Kalamdani on January 15, 2009

burger-king-facebookIt wasn’t long ago when Facebook teamed up with Burger King to provide a free Whopper to the users in return of sacrificing 10 friends. The popular fast-food chain had released an application on Facebook that enabled users obtain a free coupon to get Whopper burger by deleting 10 contacts from their profile.

Though the unique marketing strategy adopted by Burger King created sensation throughout the Internet, it happened to fade away as quickly with Facebook’s privacy policy posing as an obstruction.

Facebook, in its statement, said that it encourages creativity from companies and developers who use its social networking platform, but also ensures that applications follow user’s privacy and expectations. Therefore, after several discussions with the developer, Facebook has finally made some alterations to the application’s behaviour in assurance of maintaining user’s expectations of privacy. This means that the application is still alive on Facebook.

The application, which was meant as a promotional activity by Burger King, was designed in such a manner that after a contact is sacrificed, a message would display on the activity feed of the user’s Facebook profile informing others about the incident. Dumping friends meant letting others know that you are interested in the free Whopper burger.

If you think that you could keep sacrificing as many accounts as you want to avail more and more Whoppers, this wasn’t the case. The promotion was limited to only one coupon for an account, which means that users were eligible only for a single coupon through the application. Even then, 233, 906 people accounts were axed just because of the greed that Burger King had generated in the consumer’s mind.

However, albeit the application’s behaviour has been changed by Facebook now, Burger King has displayed a message on its Whopper Sacrifice Web site stating “WHOPPER SACRIFICE HAS BEEN SACRIFICED.”

This has been the first time where such kind of marketing exercise was implemented by any company. Though creative, it had its own limitations, thereby resulting into an early mishap as far as the application is concerned. Nevertheless, Burger King did manage to create a short term impact on the consumers, which led to an increase in its brand awareness and acceptability.

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