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Interactive Annual 15:

Burger King Whopper Sacrifice

Launch Movie

“This campaign couldn’t possibly more accurately capture the pulse of the current state of social networks or perhaps, more importantly, the sentiments of the participants that make them successful.” —Stacey Mulcahy

“What an awesome and rebellious idea! The thought of 230,000 Facebookers getting burned because their friends liked a hamburger more is a truly original way to integrate social networking into an ad experience.” —Michelangelo Capraro

Overview: Launched in conjunction with two other Whopper-specific campaigns (Flame and Whopper Virgins), Whopper Sacrifice was built around the message “Whopper Love.” To determine the strength of America’s love for the Whopper, a simple challenge was offered: Sacrifice ten of your Facebook friends, and Burger King will reward your loyalty with a free Whopper. There was one twist, each sacrificed friend would be notified that Burger King’s flame-broiled meat was chosen over their friendship. The application created an excuse for people to delete casual “friends.” This deletion started a new social network conversation—it was as if sacrifice gave people a reason to socialize with friends with whom they would almost never bother.

  • • The navigation felt natural to the Facebook interface so people wouldn’t feel like they were leaving their page.
  • • Each sacrificed friend was asked to join the campaign and do their own sacrifice—each free Whopper was earned by spreading the sacrifice to at least ten new possible users.
  • • From start to finish the project took about eight weeks to complete.

Comments by Crispin Porter + Bogusky

Is the audience you were targeting a particularly difficult one to reach? “We all have too many Facebook friends. Too many childhood buddies, ex-lovers and random coworkers, and for some reason we never want to delete any of them. Whopper Sacrifice gave people an excuse to clean up their friend list. All you had to do was answer this question: What do you love more, your friends or the Whopper?

“People had no trouble answering it. Only four days after launch, tens of thousands of people had been sacrificed. Because of the viral nature of the campaign, the application was spreading like fire. And that’s where the problems began.

“Sacrifice, it seemed, went against the very nature of Facebook’s business plan. Social networks are all about creating connections, not canceling them, and our quickly growing application was sacrificing more friendships than Facebook was comfortable with. While we both tried to accommodate each other’s goals, in the end, when faced with the prospect of removing the social/viral component that made Sacrifice so much fun, we chose to sacrifice Whopper Sacrifice. If you’re not utilizing a person’s existing social network ties, then there is no reason to be advertising on a social network.

“In only 10 days 233,906 people were sacrificed. Does America love the Whopper more than it loves its friends? Yep.”


Saman Rahmanian, art director
Joel Kaplan, writer
Nuno Ferreira/Neil Heymann, associate creative directors
Jeff Benjamin, interactive creative director
Andrew Keller/Rob Reilly, chief creative officers
Jordan Clayton-Hall/Nathan Reuss/John Whitmore, interactive designers
Matt Walsh, interaction director
Oscar Llarena/Mat Ranauro, technical leads
Scott Prindle, technology director
Jimmy Pino/Mat Ranauro, programmers
Andrew Kennedy, Flash programmer
Amanda Schultz, agency producer
Rob Allen/Robert Valdes, integrated producers
Winston Binch, senior integrated producer
David Rolfe, integrated production director
James Lukensow/Stewart Warner, quality assurance
Ascent Marketing Partner/Refresh Partners, project design and development
Crispin Porter + Bogusky, ad agency
Burger King, client