Social Media Success Stories: Burger King Sacrifice Facebook Campaign

Nov 19, 2013
Jason Baumann

When looking at social media case studies and success stories, one of my favorites is the Whopper Sacrifice campaign by Burger King. It was an online giveaway that garnered 82,000 fans in one week, severed 230,000 online friendships and eventually was shut down by Facebook.

Burger King offered a free Whopper to anyone who installed the BK Sacrifice app on their Facebook account and then defriended 10 of their “fair-weather web friendships.” It was a very creative campaign that immediately went “viral.”

Part of its virality was the creative nature of the giveaway and its reaction to the timely thought that we had too many friends on Facebook. The other part was its design. As you severed friendships, your former friends were notified that their relationship was not as important as a free whopper.

Overall, the giveaway was a great idea for Burger King until they read the Facebook User Agreement. Facebook was created to build relationships, not destroy them. Because this app was working against the goals of the Facebook, Burger King’s page status was threatened. The marketing people understood the importance of a Facebook presence in their marketing toolkit, so they immediately disabled the app.

I love this giveaway because it is something so completely out of the box. This is a principle that my company, boxlessmedia, was founded upon. It is also a great example of how Facebook flexed their online muscle to stop something counterproductive to their mission. The lesson of the day: think outside the box but within the user agreement!

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