What Happens When Advertising Goes Angry

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When I first read this, I thought it was a joke… one of those ONION stories that keep you chuckling to yourself all day long.
Only this isn’t a joke… in fact, it’s totally serious and maybe even a bit ingenious. Promo Xtra carries the story of fast food giant Burger King’s efforts to promote the “Angry Whopper” a mighty artery clogging beast that also includes spicy crispy onions, jalapenos, pepper jack cheese, bacon, tomatoes, lettuce, mayo and “angry sauce” (whatever that is). 
It’s a limited release, so if your local Burger King doesn’t have the sandwich yet… it’ll be coming soon. The Angry Whopper, a new twist on our favorite, saturated fat laden indulgence is set to be on the BK menu through March 30, 2009 — single, double and even triple versions. Now that’s a lot of anger.

There are laugh out loud commercials for the new addition, and a frighteningly (over 55,000 downloads so far) popular FaceBook application that asks users to cut 10 online friends to get a Burger King coupon for a free Whopper. It’s clearly a lighthearted, playful attempt to deal with the unwieldy number of contacts some people have on this site. The ex-friends are notified (in totally un-FaceBook fashion) that they were given up for a sandwich… the campaign bearing the tag line, “Friendship Is Strong, But The Whopper Is Stronger.”
Once you kick the “friends” to the curb, you supply your name and mailing address, and Burger King sends a coupon for the $3.67 sandwich by regular mail. Those deleted “friends” can reapply for friend status, as well as download their own version of the application and delete ten friends of their own.
Think what you like… but at least there’s some practicality (do you really need all those FaceBook friends? how many of them do you really know anyway?) and a bit of genuine humor in the approach. A unique blend of practical and punchy… and while it might be advertising, I feel like I get something in return (besides the burger, of course). It doesn’t seem as hard sell, and might offer a valuable lesson to others on how to make good use of FaceBook to get a lot more attention for a product.
Beyond FaceBook, the fast food giant has been keeping true to the feel of the campaign by promoting the Angry Whopper via an online Angry-Gram web site that lets you vent your rage and anyone — friend, enemy, old boss, mother in law. When a friend receives the rant by email, it’s delivered by an animated Whopper.
As if that will take the sting out of being dumped for a sandwich… a $3.67 sandwich no less.
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