How's this for an unusual social media strategy: in Norway, Burger King launched a campaign dubbed "The Whopper Sellout," which gave all 38,000 fans of their existing Facebook page a choice: be a "true fan" by liking the chain's new Facebook page, or opt for a free Big Mac and be declared a "Whopper sellout". Those who opted for the freebie received a coupon for a Big Mac in the mail, along with a signed letter reminding them they were "banned from Burger King's Facebook page for eternity".
The campaign was designed to separate real fans from those who were posting negative or derogatory messages on BK's Facebook page, along with "free riders" who were only hanging around to score free food.
The result? Burger King Norway shelled their entire stock of 1,000 Big Mac coupons within a week and their Facebook fan base shrunk from 38,000 to 8,481. However, BK sees the stunt as a victory, declaring in the video summary (below) that while the new fan base is significantly smaller, they interact with the brand in a more positive way, and engagement is 5x higher. Since the video was published, the amount of likes on Burger King Norway's Facebook page has increased, and currently stands at 10,626 likes.
A post on contently praised the campaign for being "the most interesting piece of content [Burger King has] produced—by far", but adds that ultimately, the chain failed to maintain the momentum, saying engagement has dropped to previous levels because BK "failed to capitalize on the chance to keep creating cool pieces of content".
What do you think? Would you have taken the free Big Mac?
About the author: Erin Jackson is a food writer and photographer who is obsessed with discovering the best eats in San Diego. You can find all of her discoveries on her San Diego food blog EJeats.com. On Twitter, she's @ErinJax