What began as an attempt to bring out the positive stories of McDonalds, turned into a marketing nightmare for McDonalds. They seeded the hashtag #meetthefarmers and #McDstories so as to showcase their commitment to deliver fresh produce. McDonald’s promoted video interviews with farmers that supply their lettuce, beef, and potatoes. Following which came the tweet which opened the floodgates for slandering:
“When u make something w/pride, people can taste it,’ – McD potato supplier #McDStories.”
Twitter users took over the hashtag to talk about all their rotten experiences. Twitter users across the world recalled stories, right from screws in their McFlurry to fingernails in their burgers. #McDStories pulled over 1600 negative conversations. A few examples are captured below -
What went wrong?
- Most people I know are acquainted with the brand McDonalds and have had at least one experience with the brand. My friend talking ill about the brand, prompts me to recall instances of my bad experience. This chain reaction catches on like wildfire. Within a matter of seconds, everyone has some story to share, good, bad or ugly.
- What McDonalds probably did not do, was weigh the larger sentiment of people towards the brand. In an environment where people are extremely conscious and moving towards a healthier lifestyle, a brand like McDonalds needs to do little to incite the negative comments. Is the story of ‘freshness’ credible enough for people to buy your story and write about it ? It is important to weigh those questions before rolling out a campaign, inviting stories from people. A channel like #McDonalds, else just becomes a reason for people to bring to surface all the negative sentiment that was simmering beneath.
Do share your thoughts with me.