A Whopper Of A Revelation – Unimaginative Marketing Or Needless Sacrifice

burger kingBorderline PR campaigns offer food (sorry for the pun) for thought as to where we are headed professionally, and sometimes for society as a whole. Has the public become so jaded and cynical that “funny” for the sake of just being cute is the new dogma for public relations too? Burger King just created a Facebook application called Whopper Sacrifice that borders on the sadistic for some. Ok, like Wimpy, I might make friends with you today and trade you for a hamburger on Tuesday, so what’s your problem?

Is this new campaign marketing genius, or is it simply too negative and trendy to be considered either tasteful or even fun? We thought about including Burger King in today’s PR Goofs category, but given what passes for PR for some these days, we thought it would be better to solicit other professional opinion.


For A Hamburger Today…

Okay, a flame broiled fat burger is as good for me as it is for the next All-American Boy, but dumping friends to win one? The premise of this app is to get Facebook members to dump 10 of their friends to win a Whopper. I expect, given what we know about Facebook err, Facepoop apps, that millions of people will be eating at Burger King shortly, but as far as PR goes, I wonder if BK’s PR department just said something like; “God wills it, let it be so” or something. For me, the campaign teeters on the Goofy and unprofessional.

So, if we can garner your opinions as PR experts, or even as consumers, then perhaps a little more light might be shed on exactly what is appropriate marketing for PR in the 21st Century. Give us your honest opinion of this campaign if you will. By the way, if any of you dump me as a friend on Facebook, I hope you got fries with it.


  1. says

    I think the application is tasteless (I share your inclination for puns, Phil). The idea of a burger being more enticing than keeping friends is funny in itself, although chocolate would be my preference. Having to actually dump your friends is not, unless it is done in fun and friends are befriended again afterwards.

    What concerns me is when this does not happen. It could exacerbate the bullying that already occurs among the young via online social networking; which often occurs due to thoughtlessness rather than intention. Many could get hurt by this application as well as the message it is sending. Through my own children and younger family members I know a fair few teenagers that use Facebook. They do not have hundreds of friends as they do not add them for non personal networking purposes. Most of them they know personally.

  2. Phil Butler says

    Hi Wing,
    I appreciate and respect your opinion of course. I expect it is a generational thing too, thought I am not sure what that says about the campaign. i guess ther term “flame” broiled is appropriate and engenders thoughts of the generation that created the term “flaming” in the first place. My view still holds with regard to the essence of both engaging at least the term “friend” on the part of BK as well as the rest of us who apparently have so many we can lose some. I am guilty as charged in adding so many, but not in my intentions.

    The simple logistics of it are that we cannot be buddies with that many people. :) As for the beer, well, I would rather have a burger I guess. If we look inside a little here, there is a good deal more going on than a goofy marketing campaign. All these things are endemic of the way society has evolved. To the point where a friend is ??? But, that is a discussion for another day. As far as marketing per se is concerned, you are probably right in that BK has been successful in giving people what they want. It is just sad that we want so little. The meanest kid in the school yard can do as well.

    Thanks always,

  3. Phil Butler says

    HAHA You guys, as always, we are on the same page. I used to think just the hamburgers were greasy, now I know the marketing people behind them are too.

    This must be the Guido Sarducci variant of PR and Marketing. “I makeA and offa yous cannota refusa”.

    I wonder at it all sometimes gals.


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