The words “Starbucks” and “coupons” would have to be predicated with the adage “once bitten..”. The reasons for this are legend and well documented. However it’s good to see that they seemed to have learned their lesson and, in a recent promotion, they teamed up with Facebook to offer their customers a chance to sample one of a range of new ice-creams.

Facebook users simply (a little over exaggeration) used a widget to claim one pint of ice cream. The widget allowed them to download a coupon delivered through Coupons.com. This coupon is then redeemed at the counter of your local store.

This promotion is nailed down with terms and conditions – primarily that they won’t dispense more than 800 pints an hour, one coupon per household (legal more that practical) and the limit is 280,000 pints if product for the duration of the promotion.
In late 2008 Coupons.com partnered with Facebook to offer their users and Facebook partners the ability to print coupons through via its widgets.

It’s this partnering and the credit crunch that lead to a staggering fact form coupons.com: in the first five months of 2009, the value of coupons printed through their site ($313m), exceeded the total printed in 2008! Their expectation is that they will print over $1 billion by the end of 2009 with food coupons representing 48% of the coupons (in dollar value) to date. Now, while we are discussing Facebook promotions let’s turn to a company that tried to run one and failed splendidly: Burger King. Earlier this year they asked Facebook users to delete 10 of their friends on Facebook.

In doing so it would grant that user a voucher for a Whopper, the promotion being entitled ‘Whopper Sacrifice’. After a few days discussions, Facebook halted the application. After discussions with Facebook, Burger King canned the promotion. Facebook stated that it was against what it stood for – connecting people.
Somebody in Bugger King obviously thought they would win any Mexican standoff between the two brands, but the social networking site seems to have won out.

I suppose there are two ‘lessons’ for this Firstly is that companies only “borrow” the social networks and really don’t have complete control. Second is that some 24,000 Facebook users are particularly fickle and would dump 10 ‘friends’ for 40c worth of food! Now, if were pints of stout…well.. that would be a different matter.