Saturday, 28 January 2012

McDonald's Twitter campaign backfires

McDonald's, the popular fast food restaurant, decided to take advantage of Twitter's promoted tweets advertising system and launch a campaign to engage the restaurant's frequenters, as well as suppliers. According to the Daily Mail, the campaign first centered around a hashtag #MeetTheFarmers, which would center around the fresh produce that the company was using and stories about farmers. That hashtag did not stimulate much activity on Twitter. The campaign then centered around a hashtag, #McDStories, and encouraged both McDonald's customers as well as suppliers to write stories about their good experiences with the restaurant. In particular, the hashtag was meant to get suppliers to write about how fresh McDonald's ingredients were and the good quality of the food. Therein lay the problem. McDonald's already has a ton of negative criticism on their food and this is where the campaign failed. The hashtag opened up to users writing stories about their negative experiences at the fast food restaurant. Stories included finding a fingernail in their food, something in a McDouble chipping a customer's molar and McDonald's using pigs from gestation crates.
The Golden Arches are in a twitter twister
The Golden Arches are in a twitter twister

Animal rights activism group PETA and McDonald's even had a duel on Twitter centering on the #McDStories hashtag. As anyone can imagine, the campaign was unsuccessful and changed to #McFail. McDonald's then tried another campaign, #LittleThings, encouraging people to tweet about the little things that make them happy. For instance, McDonald's started out the hashtag with "No line at the bank, a large tax refund, & those extra fries at the bottom of the bag. What are some #LittleThings that bring you joy?". The campaign so far has not resulted in any negative backlash from Twitter users, instead people have actually responded with tweets like "A child's laugh" and "a good cup of coffee in the morning". However, this time, they might have a problem with a hotel group. According to Mashable, hotel chain, DoubleTree by Hilton launched the exact same campaign, #LittleThings. Will this second campaign also backfire on McDonald's? Should they stick to TV and print advertising? Let us know in the comments section below.

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