Friday, January 9, 2009

Not Sacrificing My Friends for a Free Whopper

Did you hear about this?

Burger King is running a viral marketing campaign that challenges facebook users to sacrifice 10 "friends" from their facebook profile in exchange for a free hamburger. When I first saw the pitch, I laughed. Then I thought a little further and considered taking the plunge. Then I thought even further still and it occurred to me that, while a harmless little tactic to get consumers to purchase more Whoppers, set against the backdrop of the entire mess of humanity, the notion that people would elect to ditch their friends on the way to a free burger makes perfect tragic sense. It's what we do, America: we were created to cherish people and use things in service to that end, but instead we do the opposite: we cherish things and use people.

That's not even taking into consideration the fact that BK could have launched a humanitarian initiative with this schtick. I might even have participated in something like that. Instead, people will drop a thread, albeit virtual and superficial, in their human network, and for what? An unhealthy snack that they probably could do without, keeping our stomachs and spirits bloated and distracted from the desperation of our neighbors who are impoverished of food, water, security, justice, or love.

When we choose stuff over people, everybody loses.

It's the human condition, I guess; and Burger King provided Exhibit "A" for the moment.

1 comment:

  1. This just trivializes the relationships we form on Facebook. I actually have made friends with people I never would have connected with otherwise, since joining fb. (Not to mention Twitter!!!! I love my twurch!) I agree with your assessment of this. After all, how might one feel if they got a notice on fb that they had been ditched for a tenth of a burger?