Surely “Delete for Meat” would be a better name?Posted: July 28, 2013 | |
I had an idea for what I was going to post about today, but then I randomly stumbled across something that was too bonkers to not write about, and am frankly a little bit amazed that I was unaware of it until now.
Our story kicks off back in 2009 and concerns companies promoting through social media.
Social media is a great way to communicate and stay in touch, but it’s also a gift for advertisers. In 2009 fast food giant Burger King hit upon a rather unique idea for a promotion through Facebook.
Dubbed “the Whopper Sacrifice” the idea was simple, if warped. After installing the app users had a chance to get a free Whopper, but to do so they had to unfriend or “sacrifice” ten of their Facebook friends.
Now, that’s a pretty cutthroat idea, but the worst part? Read that last sentence on the advert again-
“Each friend will be notified so choose wisely.”
But I’m sure that they did it in a really sensitive way. Then again, judging by what came up when you deleted them, I doubt it:
Look at the bottom, it states it plainly- a burger is worth 10 friends!
I’ve written before about unfriending people on Facebook. Sometimes it has to be done- old schoolmates you’ve added out of obligation but who have driven you nuts with their tedious/offensive/overly personal status updates or bombard you with invitations for a multitude of addictive games.
One of the things that Facebook does best is that they have no idea that you’ve deleted them. You just disappear from their friends list like a social networking Jason Bourne, and they only realize the next time they click through to your page or try to contact you.
I’ve been both sides of the unfriending process, and while there’s a minor sting when you realize that you’ve been got rid of, but it’s usually by a vague acquaintance. If your best mate does it then you’ve got a problem, but usually it’s just a fleeting “what did I do wrong?” moment and then you’re getting asked to run an online farm or some such bollocks.
But to get a message telling you that you’ve got the Spanish archer because someone wanted to shove a greasy burger down their gob?
It’s going to hurt, even given this basic truth:
The campaign only ran for 10 days before Facebook pulled the plug, because it violated their policy regarding privacy, because it meant you couldn’t delete someone in secret.
What’s sad, though, is that over those 10 days 200,000 “friendships” were ended for the promotion. That means BK gave away 20,000 burgers, or that there are 20,000 people who sacrificed the feelings of 10 acquaintances to get a burger that’s worth, what a couple of quid?
Of course, people played the system and added randomers through groups so they could delete them, guilt free, but some of those axed must have been “real” friends.
It all leaves a rather nasty taste in the mouth, and I can’t say I like the idea. The bad thing is it apparently did get some traction in the US press and online, even if I remained blissfully unaware. I’d hope most people hated the campaign, but as they say “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”.
Any thoughts? You know what to do. BETEO.