Every now and then a social media campaign is launched that not only has a significant impact on the brand, but stays in the hearts and minds of consumers for a long time. For me, one of those is undoubtedly the Whopper de-friending campaign. It’s been one of my favorites of the past few years. For those that don’t remember and need a great example of thinking outside of the box, let’s take a stroll down memory lane.
The Whooper Sacrifice as they called it ran on Facebook. This campaign featured a bit of customization, but was worth it. The campaign promised a coupon for a free Whopper if participants deleted 10 of their Facebook friends on the social network. It begged to ask the question – how important of a friend are you? Are you worth a Whopper? Many were dismayed to find out that they were, while some others absolutely understood the necessity of their friend to enjoy Burger King’s Whopper.
The Facebook application was installed by approximately 60,000 in just a couple of days. The results? Burger King gave out nearly 20,000 Whopper coupons, and well over 200,000 Facebook friends were deleted from accounts of their friends.
Facebook participants created unofficial groups where they recruited ‘friends’ that they can subsequently delete for the sake of gaining a free Whopper. This spared many hurt feelings. To promote the Whopper Sacrifice, Burger King went with the simple yet effective press release and a variety of Facebook banners.
Unfortunately, the campaign violated Facebook’s own rules, thus the campaign was disabled. The campaign, in order to further spread the message had to inform the friends that had been sacrificed for the Whopper that they had in fact been de-friended. Facebook does not do this and has strict policies against other applications doing this. After ten days, this vital part of the campaign got the application taken down.
So just how much is a Facebook friend worth? The Atlanta-based company Virtue, seems to have an answer. They conducted extensive research on over 45 million fans of brands on Facebook in order to determine the value of a friend. According to their study, 1 million impressions on the brand’s page times two wall posts/day for 30 days equals 60 million impressions/month. At a $5 CPM (cost per 1,000 clicks), the 60 million impressions equal $300,000 every month. This simply means…$3.60. Despite of some assumptions that still need to be double checked (the impact generated towards each viewer), this would be the basic level associating the value of a friendship with a cost. A Whopper costs $3.60 and if you un-friend 10 people from your list, every friend has a value of 0.36 cents.