Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Sacrificial Gift.

Girl #1: "I absolutely could not believe he sacrificed me."
Girl #2: "I guess now you know what you're worth... less than 1/10 of a Whopper."

Overheard a few coworkers today discussing the Whopper Sacrifice campaign while at the coffee bar. True story - names have been removed to protect the innocent. If you are unaware of Whopper Sacrifice, it's a microsite that links to a Facebook application that sends you a coupon for a free Whopper for every ten friends you unfriend, or sacrifice.


As a media planner, you tend to get unsavvy clients asking for the latest and greatest in media developments as part of their plan - they want to be cool. We love new media - as a tactic in a larger integrated, strategic plan that makes sense for the messaging and the target. New media for new media's sake is flashy, but no more effective than creative for the sake of creative. So, we get used to cringing when clients say, "can you come up with a Facebook application?" Sure, the Facebook crowd is a powerful and desirable audience. But, planning for tactic instead of strategy aside, cluttering up Facebook with useless apps only serves to dilute the potency of the network.

Unless, of course, your Facebook app is a brilliant idea.

I don't know what Burger King's objectives are for Whopper Sacrifice. But for the sake of discussion of Facebook applications, I think Whopper Sacrifice was a brilliant idea. Here are a few reasons why:

1. Whopper Sacrifice is a Facebook app that actually involves the use of Facebook.
Sounds so simple, right? Facebook is an incredibly well-built and organized site with which users have a personal connection. The amount of Facebook applications that don't require you to think about Facebook is astounding. They are confusing, they don't have a strong foundation in their brands, and they make Facebook messy. If an application is not simple, with a clear tie to the brand and product being represented, your efforts are just going to annoy your Facebook user. Instead of being accepted by the cool kids, your brand just looks like the un-hip guy who couldn't quite fit in.

2. Whopper Sacrifice does not require any new learning.
The most basic action at the heart of all Facebook usage is the act of friending and unfriending people. Instead of attempting to create a trend, or trying to teach a new action, Whopper Sacrifice just takes that most basic of all Facebook acts and turns it into something hysterical and (god I hate this word) buzzworthy. It skips the learning process and gets right to the interacting. Interactive that is founded on interaction. Who would have guessed?

3. Whopper Sacrifice is centered around product.
You sacrifice ten people, you get a Whopper. Interacting with the application leads to immediate satisfaction and positivity. You're building your brand while moving product. Marketing, how I love thee.

It's yet to be seen whether this campaign will have any huge impact on sales or brand approval for Burger King, or what its purpose is in the larger scheme of things. But for the moment, it's a case study of a Facebook app that makes sense - for Facebook, as well as Burger King. As a standalone campaign, even. Nice work, CP+B. I thought this was really cool.

And in case you are wondering, no, I didn't use the application. Gluten-intolerance and all - leave the Whoppers for someone who can enjoy them. Always looking out for others. Sigh.

Monday, January 5, 2009

LMJ's Top Eight for 2008

Ah, the obligatory 2008 recap post. It don't get much cheesier, but the new year has me feeling nostalgic, and, as J-E likes to point out, my blog was getting stagnant, so, what better way to start anew than by looking back on the old?

Here we go. Oh, and PS - eight moments, for 2008. Bring on the cheese.

8.) Fly Fishing - Kohler, WI - October 17, 2008
A unique opportunity to get completely out of my element and try my hand at something I never thought I would do. Discovering beautiful Kohler while catching the crap out of enormous king salmon (they never had a chance) is something I will never forget.

7.) July 9, 2008
I found refreshing inspiration, a push to be better, and a reminder that few things are funnier than a fith thandwich.

6.) The 2008 Milwaukee Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure - Milwaukee, WI - September 28, 2008
Due to various lifelong illnesses and lack of motivation, I never thought I might consider myself a runner. Crossing the finish line of this wimpy 5K, with an embarrassingly horrible time (34 minutes and change, but I had a fever and didn't walk at all, so shove it), knowing that I had accomplished a goal and contributed to a cause I really care about - that was a pretty amazing moment.

5.) Yes We Can - Chicago, IL - November 4, 2008
Ok, so I was not in Grant Park for the festivities when Obama was voted president-elect of the United States of America, but in watching his acceptance speech, I felt like my vote mattered. Wah wah super cheesy, I know. But the guy is damn charismatic, and I cannot wait to see what he's got in store.

4.) Tyler and Lindsey Jones - Knoxville, TN - April 5, 2008
A long-awaited reunion with the original Posse - and a really amazing moment, watching a childhood friend take the plunge. There's just something about weddings - and I am very happy to have had the chance to be a part of this one.

3.) I'm Just Sayin' - Key West, FL - May 23, 2008
A few hundred miles of bridges through the keys, a couple (or more) tumblers of rum punch, a few hours in a hammock in stifling heat. A conga line in the parade, a breathtaking sunset, seven people, and one hotel room (famous for its drag shows). Enough said.

2.) Lucas Daniel Beio - Romeoville, IL - October 6, 2008
My nephew is born. I don't have words for this, but I will say that I absolutely cannot wait to see him grow up.

1.) The Winter of Jen - Chicago, IL - November 8, 2008
Save the cheesiest of the cheesy for last - I am pretty sure one of the best things that has happened to me thus far in my short existence was moving to Chicago. Unlike Costanza and the Summer of George, I will not be ending up in a hospital bed, taken down by slippery invitations. A new motivation, a revived passion for the industry, and a new life in a town I love, surrounded by people I love. Bring on the Winter of Jen.

You can all stop throwing up now, I'm done. 2008 was a rough year for me in many ways, but also a really great one. Things are on the up-and-up, and I am looking forward to seeing where 2009 is headed. Auld lang syne, and etc. Cheers!