January 18, 2009

The Whopper Sacrifice: The untimely end

It seems no good things come to those who wait. Those free lunches get gobbled up quickly.

I took a week to consider which ten of my Facebook friends to cut in order to get my free Whopper from Burger King using their Whopper Sacrifice application. When I sat down last night to make the cuts, I discovered that the promotion has been shut down.

As this New York Times article explains, Facebook didn't like the idea of Burger King notifying your sacrificed friends that they lost out to a hamburger and asked Burger King to change that feature. They said it disappointed users' privacy expectations, since you normally aren't notified when someone de-friends you. Rather than sacrifice the integrity of their promotion, Burger King chose to sacrifice the stunt itself.

Kudos to Burger King and egg on Facebook. The social-networking site's privacy claim is pretty dubious. It seems a lot more likely they were afraid their users' couldn't cope with a little stomach-driven rejection, or that they felt the promotion was against Facebook's spirit of compulsively collecting as many friends as possible. But at least Burger King held their moral ground.

Burger King wanted you to be upstanding about your disregard for having a profuse number of pals. You had to look your former friends in the digital eye with a message saying "I cast you aside to get a free Whopper" in order to get the burger. The passive-aggressive move of cutting them without their knowing will not be tolerated.

The downside of Burger King's moral high road is that those of us who waited and deliberated which Facebook friends to cut have been left without our free burgers. There's a moral to this story: When opportunity knocks, open the door quickly. I didn't and now I'll never be able to taste a Whopper that was paid for in bruised brotherhood.

This moral runs directly against my usual rule of waiting to adopt new things. Typically you can save money and get a more reliable product if you wait a few months to buy new technology after it comes out. You can make a better decision by sleeping on it. But I suppose I should have known better than to drag my feet on free food. When you come late to the table, your meal is going to be cold.

Now you might still be wondering which of my friends I was going to cut. Of the strategies I discussed last week, which of them was I going to employ?

I'll tell you. If you buy me a Whopper.

No comments:

Post a Comment