Markets in everything, hedonic pricing edition parts I and II

by on January 9, 2009 at 9:17 pm in Web/Tech | Permalink

Burger King recently introduced a Facebook app called Whopper Sacrifice that allows users to delete ten of their friends in exchange for a Whopper sandwich. Watch the app in action.

Here is much more and thanks to Alex Sheets for the pointer. It also gives you one way of implicitly valuing what Facebook is worth.  For another recent exchange, get this example, courtesy of Damon Richardson:

First-time vendor Pasang Sherpa said when the
Metropolitan Museum of Art auctioned off the sales rights to two of its
corners, he decided to pay an additional $81,701 to sell his hot dogs
near its north-side entrance, the New York Post said Wednesday.

The cost increase, which represents thousands of hot dogs in
Sherpa's world, was acceptable for the vendor despite only being 100
feet away from the site's south entrance.

"That (north) side is more busy," Sherpa said of his new sales
locale at the tourism site that more than 5 million people visit each
year.

Tyler Cowen January 9, 2009 at 9:18 pm

Testing comments…

Jeremy January 9, 2009 at 10:31 pm

While I’m at it, there’s a couple of other things:

4. He assumes that nobody is doing this as a prank on their friends; and
5. He assumes that none of the users are going this out of curiosity to see how the new feature works.

Kind of a lot of assumptions to declare, “What BK has unwittingly done here is provide a way to determine the valuation of Facebook.”

Anonymous January 9, 2009 at 11:02 pm

I’ll gladly unfriend you today for a hamburger Tuesday.

Jeff H. January 9, 2009 at 11:14 pm

I just sacrificed Tyler…my coupon is in the mail.

Rex Rhino January 10, 2009 at 1:10 am

Burger King’s marketing campaigns are exceptionally well done. From the subservient chicken, to their Xbox games, to things like this, they know exactly how to get people talking about their product.

Ted January 10, 2009 at 7:13 am

“First-time vendor Pasang Sherpa said when the Metropolitan Museum of Art auctioned off the sales rights to two of its corners, he decided to pay an additional $81,701 to sell his hot dogs near its north-side entrance, the New York Post said Wednesday.”

For five-year rights, I have to think there’s winners’ curse there. $362,201? Really? Especially since the corner is under construction.

Paul Gowder January 10, 2009 at 10:44 am

Are there ten people who want to enter into a conspiracy with me to friend one another, then de-friend one another for a whopper, then friend one another, then de-friend one another, etc. etc. ad infinitum?

In fact, anyone wanna write a quick script to do it automatically?

Pave the roads with free whoppers.

BlogReader January 10, 2009 at 4:07 pm

Another problem with this valuation is that each additional un-friend is worth more. If you have 100 friends then un-friending 10 of them is no big whoop. If you only have 20 then it is. Plus he assumes that an average user (with 100 friends?) axes all of them. That’s never going to happen.

However it was an interesting thought experiment. I’ll like to see some stats from BK about how many burgers they’ve given away for this and what the average number of friends a user had when they decided to off someone.

Oh and each burger isn’t “worth” $2.40. This is the cost of advertising. I’ll be interested to know if it brings in new customers (which are worth more) or repeat ones.

Ted January 11, 2009 at 4:28 am

And don’t forget the free advertising from the press coverage.

kikr berg April 10, 2009 at 6:51 pm

I have 6 childern and have always taken my family to burger king until now.
Your new Sponge Bob square butt commercials show what is wrong with society
today trying to promote “booty calls” to kids. “I like square butts”? I’m
done with BK.

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