Here's an interesting marketing experiment. A Burger King decided to see what would happen if they discontinued the Whopper. The Whopper was taken off the menu for a day and customers were told that it was discontinued forever.
The response was fascinating. Of course most were confused and upset. Many also started reminiscing and waxing nostalgic about their first Whopper and instances where they went to great lengths to get a Whopper.
The net effect was to make people appreciate the product more by forcing them to acknowledge their feelings about it consciously. I guess it's true, "absence makes the heart grow fonder".
The promotional value of the marketing experiment/prank goes farther than a single store. At the moment it's among the most popular vids on YouTube and the search term "Whopper Freakout" is among the top five on Google.
Hmmmm... maybe Cartman really had something on the South Park episode where he wouldn't let anyone into his amusement park. If you want to create buzz for your product, don't let anyone have it.
Full Screen Video available at WhopperFreakOut.com