Hello all! So, I’ll be honest: I’ve been on Spring Break (although, it really shouldn’t be called “spring” break, because we got 8 inches of snow), so I made the executive decision to combine two weeks of posts into one so that I could enjoy more of my vacation.

The decision works well, because the material I have can easily be condensed into one post and didn’t need to be split up into two like I had originally planned, anyway.

Hope you all have had a good first week of March, and as always, thanks for reading!


 

How much do you love Burger King Whoppers?

Okay, so, I’m a vegetarian, and my answer doesn’t really count (YUCK–meat!), but apparently, 82,000 (O’Brien, “Burger King Lets People…”) American Facebook users’ answers were that they REALLY loved Whoppers!

Back in 2009, Burger King launched an app designed by the ad agency Crispin Porter + Bogusky that allowed users to unfriend 10 people on Facebook, and after these 10 friends were removed, the app user would receive a coupon for a free Whopper burger.

 

(Image credit: theinspirationroom)

As aforementioned, about 82,000 people used the app before Facebook switched it off, citing privacy issues. Therefore, one could call the ad campaign successful, and for my final paper, that’s exactly what I’ll be evaluating: based on the most popularly used social media marketing measurements and according to a mock DMM I’ll create, was The Whopper Sacrifice–as well as another marketing campaign–a hit?

Quite a few online journalists don’t think it was. Sure, the numbers might be impressive, especially for a website that can lose a browser’s attention within 2 seconds if the content isn’t interesting enough, but Burger King received a lot of “negative press,” because some people argued the campaign was “morally questionable,” and Facebook did shut down the app.

The reason Facebook shut down the app and the reason some people considered the app to be unkind or harsh is because the friends you sacrificed were alerted of the sacrifice. A message would be posted on their Wall stating that they had been given up for a burger, and not only that, but the app would track the original user’s Facebook interactions and activity to make sure the sacrificed friend was actually sacrificed and not re-friended (O’Brien).

Though, said shutdown prompted BK to release a “whopper sacrifice has been sacrificed” campaign to make the best of the situation. (image credit: futureofads)

Not to mention, in 2011, not two years after the Whopper Sacrifice campaign was run, CP+B and Burger King parted ways (Morrison, “Crispin Breakup with the King…”).  There was a lot of media speculation over the split; some argued that BK instigated the parting, while others insisted that CP+B didn’t like the lack of creative leeway that BK was giving them.

As for other reasons: well, check out this timeline from Business Insider that argues CP+B and BK didn’t have the most fruitful of relationships. In fact, their run together was marked by financial losses (Morrison) and bad press accusing BK of sexism and racism among other less-than-stellar things.

To compare, in 2012, after the split from CP+B, a change in demographic focus brought upon increased audience interest and engagement–especially in women, which is opposite of the 18-35 male demographic BK once so passionately pursued (Kelso, “Burger King Demographic…?”).

Also as of 2012, according to Datamonitor fast-food industry reports, Burger King is still ranked as one of the top burger providers along with McDonalds and Wendy’s.

Regardless of whether or not you like or approve of CP+B and BK’s marketing tactics, it’s definitely a fascinating study.


References:

Kelso, Alicia. “Burger King Demographic Beginning to Shift?” QSRWeb. Networld Media Group, 14 June 2012. Web. 6 March 2015.

Morrison, Maureen. “Burger King, Crispin Breakup is $300M Whopper Sacrifice.” Advertising Age. Crain Communications, 21 March 2011. Web. 6 March 2015.

O’Brien, Cory. “Burger King Lets People Sacrifice Friendships for Whoppers.” The Future of Ads. The Future of Ads, n.d. Web. 6 March 2015.

Russell, Mallroy. “How Burger King Went From McDonald’s Greatest Rival to Total Trainwreck.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc., 15 April 2012. Web. 6 March 2015.

Fast Food Industry Profiles: 2012. Datamonitor.