Sunday, January 11, 2009

Favourite stories of last week

Adweek: BK Asks Facebookers To Sacrifice Friends For Whoppers
It's a common problem to all avid Facebook users, says Adweek's Brian Morrissey: "You look at your friend list and wonder who these people are." Well, Burger King wants to help you do something about it.

The fast-food chain has come out with a new application that rewards people with a coupon for a free Whopper for anyone willing to cut 10 friends from their friend list. Each time a friend is axed, the app sends a notice to the ex-friend via Facebook's news feed explaining that the user thought a free Whopper was worth more than their friendship. The app then adds a box to the user's profile pages charting their progress towards a free Whopper using the line: "Who will be the next to go?"

The Whopper Sacrifice campaign was created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky of "Subservient Chicken" fame. "We thought there could be some fun there, removing some of these people who are friends (but) not necessarily) best friends," said Jeff Benjamin, executive interactive creative director at Crispin, who has 736 friends on Facebook. "It's asking the question of which love is bigger, your love for your friends or your love for the Whopper," he said.

Why it good- they found a modern insight that can work with the modern folk
People, most people, have friends on Facebook that they don't want to be friends with. In the initial need to plump up your friend list, you end up adding doofs and douches that you wouldn't otherwise give the time of day. Then there is the anguish of leaving someone in facebook purgatory. Personally, I have 55 people in the purgatory. I deny them because I don't want them requesting the friendship again (as someone did 5 times in succession after I rejected the request 5 times) and I believe if I haven't spoken to you in 3+ years, there is a reason, and we won't be resuming the relationship.

To then send the erroneously added friends a message saying they've been sacrificed is gold- a glorious way to leave the relationship. Sorry to all those losers who thought they now had friends and are about to lose them all.
So thanks BK for offering a "get out of gaol free card" solution to the problem.

In bullet form:

The insight to germinate the idea
People bitch about their random facebook friends and the friends they'd love to get rid of, but feel they can't

Helping users through a functional application of that insight
Create an application which removes those friends in such an obvious manner, that the embarrassment is alleviated through the wanting of said whopper

Benefit to brand
Facebook social graph will help the brand awareness and profile- as the majority of Facebook users agree with the insight, the take up will be high and traverse across the network. Biggest reason that this works is that users relate to brands who don't take themselves seriously and subscribe to the unrestrained and easy going attitudes of today. e.g Justin Timberlake as a brand, he is more respected because he pokes fun at himself, versus that of Tom Cruise- BIG LOSER. And coke who banned the mentos thing (bad) and that kid who made an iTouch ad and apple picked it up and used it (good).

Notes and warnings
This baby is now done. The goose is cooked. Any brand which tries to emulate an action derived from the same insight will fry.

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