McDonald’s Twitter Promotion Fails and Backfires
McDonald’s may have been a little too far into the fantasy wonderland that they depict in their commercials, because they were in for quite a surprise when their new Twitter campaign completely turned on them.
According to Forbes, McDonald’s launched a Twitter promotion using #McDStories — hoping that the hashtag would catch on and become a trending topic. They figured that people could use the hashtag to talk about how much they are “loving it” and share their fond memories of Happy Meals. They even paid Twitter to promote their hashtag on the homepage. What the Golden Arches got instead, was a trending #McDStories of people absolutely trashing McDonald’s with personal horror stories ranging from getting sick to finding all kings of gross things in the food.
ABC News posted a few of the tweets:
“@flatfootphil: #McDStories…a nice juicy Filet o’fish. With added worm. Still alive. Nice. Never again.”
“@HarrisonSJ: Found a dirty band aid in the bottom of take out bag..#McDStories.”
The #McDStories, along with #MeetTheFarmers, was part of their “Supplier Stories” campaign, but once the Internet hijacked the #stories for their own anti-McDonald’s campaign, the company quickly realized they had a problem on their hands and had to pull it after only two hours.
“While #meetthefarmers was used for the majority of the day and successful in raising awareness of the Supplier Stories campaign, #mcdstories did not go as planned. We quickly pulled #mcdstories and it was promoted for less than two hours,” Rick Wion, social media director for McDonald’s, told ABC. Some of the better tweets included massive weight loss upon quitting McDonald’s, vomiting from the food, and my personal favorite, “I haven’t been to McDonald’s in years, because I’d rather eat my own diarrhea.”
McDonald’s may be proudly boasting their billions upon billions served, but clearly “served” doesn’t necessarily mean happy. Only a company as naïve as McDonald’s would not see any potential problem with this campaign; and only on the Internet could something like this go from innocent to the complete opposite in a matter of minutes. A lot of companies can learn from this. If you have a strongly divided audience, it might not be a good idea to open up the floor to everyone. McDonald’s commercials have always been utterly ridiculous, but I never thought they actually believed that’s how they looked to the world.