January 10, 2009

The Whopper Sacrifice: The beginning

Burger King is making a big splash on the web with its "Whopper Sacrifice" stunt on Facebook, where the company will give you a free Whopper if you de-friend ten Facebook friends. You install a Facebook application from www.whoppersacrifice.com, pick ten friends to kick to the curb and Burger King mails you a coupon for a free burger.

In the name of reviewing, I'm going to participate in the stunt and document it. Today I installed the application on my Facebook page and am currently contemplating which of my "friends" to cut. There are a few strategies I have to choose between, though.

First, I could pick ten of my best friends, cut them, get the coupon, and re-friend them. Since they're my best friends, they'll understand I'm only sacrificing them temporarily. They'll also know how important food is to me, and won't be offended. But there's always the chance that they'll see the message proclaiming they've been sacrificed for fast food, get angry, and never re-friend me. That's a pretty big downside, as I could actually lose some people who are pretty close to me.

Second, I could just pick ten of those people I never interact with on Facebook. You know the ones -- you friended them as a freshman in college the day you met them, saw them one other time, and now you're burdened with seeing their updates on your newsfeed all the time. You don't care about them and all they're doing is making it look like you know more people than you actually do. The downside to this strategy is that these people are the most likely to be offended when they see the message that they were sacrificed for a slab of ground meat, because they're least likely to understand how important food is to me. And since I use Facebook as a way to promote this blog, that might not be the best move for my role as a food critic, either.

Third, I could try to de-friend up as many "fake" Facebook friends as I could. A few years ago, when George Mason made a run in the NCAA basketball tournament, I befriended the Facebook account "George Mason." It's one of those clever little accounts that has a picture of a statue on the school's campus and contains snarky information that makes you snicker when you read it. Accounts like this are a good way to sacrifice "friends" guilt-free. The problem is that I've never been willing to befriend a lot of "unreal" people, and therefore would only be able to come up with three or four "fake" friends -- far short of my quota of ten.

Fourth, I could make friends with the sole purpose in mind of cutting them. Maybe I could start a Facebook group titled "I'll befriend you just to de-friend you so we can get free Whoppers." It's would be like Craigslist for free burgers. Of course, that seems like a lot of trouble when I have perfectly good friends of my own to sacrifice.

Fifth, I could scour Facebook for friends I care about moderately who rarely update their accounts. Chances are they wouldn't be offended at all, and wouldn't even notice if I chose to re-friend them in a couple of weeks. The downside is that will take even more time then setting up the Craigslist for free burgers.

So, my loyal readers, what do you think I should do? Let me know if you want to be sacrificed for a free Whopper or if you know someone I should kick off my friend list. I'm sure that, together, we can come up with a way to get a free lunch without destroying any real friendships.

1 comment:

  1. I do not have a facebook account. I used to, but the only people who contacted me through facebook (as proposed to other means) were those I cared little about. So, I would say delete all of them.

    But, I think that I'd rather not let an ad campaign, however creative, affect my social life, however minimally. So, I say go to McDonald's.