Burger King: Delete 10 friends to get a free Whopper

“Jane sacrificed John Doe for a free Whopper”

Burger King planned to break up friendships in the name of free Whoppers in early 2009.

If you don’t recall, Burger King conducted a promotion in January 2009 dubbed the Whopper Sacrifice. The idea was simple: unfriend ten people on Facebook and receive a ticket for a free Whopper.

Only getting told that one of your former pals abandoned your online companionship for 1/10th of a Whopper is worse than being unfriended in the name of a single fast-food cheeseburger. That’s what occurred. Every single time.

The most amusing part is that the “sacrifices” appear in your activity feed. “Jane sacrificed John Doe for a free Whopper,” for example, it will say. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to unfriend all of your friends and eat for free for a week. Each Facebook account is only eligible for one coupon.

This marketing ploy, while cruel, shallow, and aggressive, was also rather brilliant. It was one of the first fast food marketing initiatives to use social media extensively. Promotions like these are judged primarily on the amount of attention they attract, and this one drew a tonne of attention and comments.

You want proof? During the promotion, about 234,000 Facebook members were de-friended.

Users of Facebook even formed fake groups, offering to add others as friends and subsequently delete them for the Whopper Sacrifice.

However, after 10 days, Facebook suspended the initiative, arguing that it violated user privacy because Whopper Sacrifice notified friends if they were deleted.