McDonalds Twitter campaign goes terribly wrong

Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Looking back on the recent Twitter campaign from McDonalds, it’s perhaps easy to point the finger at where the company went wrong. The lure of social media is considerable for big brands; marketing consultants constantly evangelise about the benefits of reaching out to customers through avenues such as Facebook and Twitter, and often these campaigns reap great rewards for companies large and small. But sometimes, these campaigns can take on a life of their own, leaving the companies wishing they’d stuck to handing out flyers instead.

It started a few days ago, on 18 January, when McDonalds embarked on a feel-good Twitter campaign, using the hashtag #MeetTheFarmers.

It was hoped that the tweets would highlight the company’s commitment to sourcing fresh vegetables and high-quality meats. Later on the same day, McDonalds started using the second of the campaign’s hashtags, #McDStories.  

With that, McDonalds had inadvertently equipped web users with all the ammunition they needed to destroy the campaign. It didn’t take long for things to go wrong, as users began to tell their own stories – and these were not heartwarming tales of good times under the golden arches.

Within minutes, Twitter was filling fast with stories that Ronald McDonald would rather not hear, and even today – days after the launch of the campaign – the hashtag is alive and well with thousands of such stories being shared across the interwebs.


 


 


 


 

This selection of tweets is, of course, just the tip of a very big iceberg. Check out the #McDStories hashtag on Twitter to see some more of the valuable McNuggets of feedback that McDonalds has been getting on its campaign.

It took just two hours after McDonalds posted its first #McDStories tweet for the company to accept that things had completely spiralled out of control, beyond the point of no return. Rick Wion, social media director for McDonalds spoke with PaidContent.org to acknowledge the problems of the campaign: “Within an hour, we saw that it wasn’t going as planned. It was negative enough that we set about a change of course.”

Unfortunately, by that point, the hashtag had been well and truly hijacked by the internet at large, repurposed by web users keen to have their say about the fast-food chain. As Wion himself pointed out, it’s a reality of any social media campaign that “fans and detractors will chime in”, but McDonalds was evidently unprepared for the extent of the negative backlash that the campaign unleashed upon them.

But hey, some lessons need to be learned the hard way.

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I do enjoy a McDonalds from time to time still

But you do have to laugh at how even huge companies like McDonalds can still screw up so badly

Now the whole hashtag history is full of people mentioning it to link to other news sites. As if we couldn't tell.

I don't love it, I don't hate it. I don't mind going there and grabbing something on my way home, but if it were even slightly out of the way I wouldn't mind not going there even again.

As for the campaign gone awry...well, they're foolish for not realising that it was going to happen.

Claiming to use the freshest ingredients is misleading considering it is only the beginning phase. Once they are processed and chemically engineered it makes little difference the quality or 'freshness' of the input. Corporate advertising ignorance at its finest.

rippleman said,
i like Mcd's. Don't go there often like it when i do.. Some people just have it brain-washed in to them like its the end of the world if you eat there.

When the world ends I'll eat there.

I guess either it has just become cool to hate on McDonalds as they are a big company (very likely) or their restaurants in the US are crap compared to the ones I've been to around Europe (England, Germany, France, Sweden and Denmark to be specific). Never had any problem with any of their food, way ahead of any similar restaurants that can be found here.

McDonald's isn't near as bad as people pretend. It's just popular to make fun of them. Now their food isn't what I'd call great but I do enjoy getting a double cheeseburger now and then (even though lately they taste like they have a pound of salt in them). Their breakfasts are still great though.

I love McDonald's and will continue to eat there. However, those Twitter posts were hilarious. Sometimes you wonder what goes in their food before it gets to you. The trick is to clear you mind when you look at it and you'll keep it down.

Neobond said,
Was a fan of the McBacon in the 90's when it was on the menu here in The Netherlands, but that's not available anymore.

I remember the Arch Deluxe

I don't know if they have them in the US but here in the UK you can get various deli sandwiches which are just leagues ahead of the other crap they serve in terms of quality. Sure they aren't incredible and I only eat there maybe 5 or 6 times a year at most but they are the only meals I have if I got there.

The KFC Double Down Invades Japan! McDonald's Declares War By Lowering Price of McNuggets
http://www.crunchyroll.com/ani...c-double-down-invades-japan

McDonald's Japan unveil new four Big America burgers: Grand Canyon Burger (released this month), Las Vegas Burger (release on 1/27), Broadway Burger (release on February) and Beverly Hills Burger (release on March). http://www.mcdonalds.co.jp/beef/bigamerica/index.html

I always want this one! Fire Shrimp burger aka McShrimp http://www.mcdonalds.co.jp/qua...tion/menu_info.php?mid=8565

No one cares about your opinion of fast food. It is like criticizing a Honda Civic after you drove a Corvette.

_Heracles said,

Nothing wrong with eating the bones and innards of the chicken.
What gets me is the chemicals they put in afterwards.

Meh, I have friends who work in pig slaughter houses and they all wash the carcasses with ammonia too.

I don't think the tweets hurt the brand at all. Some people have a low opinion of fast food.
There are others who enjoy it. McDonald's only sucks to places that serve better quality food. Which also cost better quality amountos of money.

However, that $10 burger at Joe's isn't that much better than a 5.00 burger. Its the same crap wit just more meat. It just depends on how you look at it.

TechieXP said,
I don't think the tweets hurt the brand at all. Some people have a low opinion of fast food.
There are others who enjoy it. McDonald's only sucks to places that serve better quality food. Which also cost better quality amountos of money.

However, that $10 burger at Joe's isn't that much better than a 5.00 burger. Its the same crap wit just more meat. It just depends on how you look at it.

Except you're wrong. There is only one item on the McD's menu that doesn't have sugar, and it's so loaded with salt, you don't notice.
Joe makes his food w/out that quantity of Type2 diabetes.

Technically you can question th quality of food at any restaurant, fast food or not. I don't think McDonald's is any worse than Red Lobster.

Its a buger that you plan to eat within 10 mins. If you really cared, you;d cook your own crap and be done with it, since many feel they can do a better job.

To complain about something that only cost 5.00 or so, just shows how stupid people are.
All you people on Twitter are just stupid.

And for those who claimed they haven't eaten at McDonald's in 10 years, you're simply lying. The only way to totally avoid McDonald's, is to never have kids or not work/live near one. It is higly unlikely you fall in all 3 categories.

There si nothing wrong with McDonald's food. I prefer it over Taco Bell and KFC.

TechieXP said,
And for those who claimed they haven't eaten at McDonald's in 10 years, you're simply lying. The only way to totally avoid McDonald's, is to never have kids or not work/live near one. It is higly unlikely you fall in all 3 categories.

It's called choice and wanting to put good things into your body.

I haven't eaten McDonald's in over ten years and I haven't eaten other similar fast food in over five years.

TechieXP said,

There si nothing wrong with McDonald's food.

You can't be that ignorant.

/shrug
I don't care for much of their food, but I'm a sucker for a McChicken, every once in awhile.
Just gotta make sure to substitute the crappy "Iceberg" lettuce with the "Leaf" lettuce. And ask for light mayo, otherwise it is a disgusting mayo loaded mess.

Other than the rarely occasional McChicken, the rest of the menu is McSh*t.

I love people who start their informed comment with "I haven't eaten there in years, but". Because nothing ever changes and the one bad experience you may have had 10 years ago is the standard to everyone all the time.

If you aren't even going to take the time to investigate before insulting, don't bother at all.

Edited by LightEco, Jan 24 2012, 6:44pm :

Chrono951 said,
I love people who start their informed comment with "I haven't eaten there in years, but". Because nothing ever changes and the one bad experience you may have had 10 years ago is the standard to everyone all the time.

If you aren't even going to take the time to investigate before insulting, don't bother at all.

Their burgers haven't become visions of health in the last ten years.

reLapse said,
I haven't eaten McDonald's in over ten years...

Their burgers haven't become visions of health in the last ten years.

Exactly, right there! If you haven't eaten at a place in over ten years, how could you possibly make an informed comment about the quality of the food today? Your simply going off predetermined assumptions.

I haven't used the internet in over ten years, but its slow and there's no content! People tell me its fast and exciting, but I don't believe them.

Chrono951 said,

Exactly, right there! If you haven't eaten at a place in over ten years, how could you possibly make an informed comment about the quality of the food today? Your simply going off predetermined assumptions.

I don't have to eat one to know, McDonald's provides all the relevant information.

If people want to put that garbage in their bodies they are welcome to it, just don't hand me a turd and tell me it's a diamond.

Aside from Harveys and A&W I would rather eat at McDonalds over any fastfood like Burger King, Taco Hell (Bell), Arbys, Wendys.

htcz said,
Must be a US thing. McDonalds in other countries is pretty decent. (Decent; did not say great)

They have come a long way in the US. People still however hold onto their conceived sterotypes that they have. That's why they started this ad campaign in the first place. McDonald's may not be the best place to eat, but they are certainly not the worst anymore.

Chrono951 said,

McDonald's may not be the best place to eat, but they are certainly not the worst anymore.

Judging from the fact that we here only have McDonalds and Burger King, I'd say the second takes the crown when it comes to bad food…

#McDStories I used to like McDs but then I took an arrow to the heart. And by arrow I mean heart attack. And by heart attack I mean I just don't like it.

Funny how misinformed and ignorant people can become in hopes that some online stranger will find them funny and hit the like button. I was in members pictures section in our forum and i highly doubt most of you aren't eating some kind of fast food or fatty foods. Nice try though. Maybe some of you should stick to hating obama, religion and bieber like everyone else on neowin.

Colin McGregor said,
Funny how misinformed and ignorant people can become in hopes that some online stranger will find them funny and hit the like button. I was in members pictures section in our forum and i highly doubt most of you aren't eating some kind of fast food or fatty foods. Nice try though. Maybe some of you should stick to hating obama, religion and bieber like everyone else on neowin.

Wow, insult everyone now. Good for you! Hope you feel really good about that comment. Maybe try countering the point with facts or something other than just insults?

Colin McGregor said,
you should stick to hating obama, religion and bieber like everyone else on neowin.

This ignorant person loves obama, hates religion, admires beiber and hates everyone else on neowin. /s

mcdonalds is pretty good "once in awhile" but not in moderation. i only eat at taco bell, mcdonalds, wendy's & arbys. i haven't eaten at burger king since 2003 when i got food poisoning from a chicken sandwich.

Love it hahahah

For me, McDonald's tastes fine going down, but afterwards... I just feel sick. Only time I eat it is if someone's already picked some up for me without my knowledge, as I don't like wasting food either but... Bleh.

It did not go wrong at all.

I think this is very good marketing for them. In french we say "Parlez-en en mal, parlez-en en bien, mais parlez-en".

I stopped eating McD's years ago when a mate asked for a chicken burger with no mayo, when he ate it, it had mayo on it. He took it back and was advised they hadn't put mayo on it, further checks showed the chicken had a cyst on it and had burst when he bit it ... ewww never again.

BeLGaRaTh said,
I stopped eating McD's years ago when a mate asked for a chicken burger with no mayo, when he ate it, it had mayo on it. He took it back and was advised they hadn't put mayo on it, further checks showed the chicken had a cyst on it and had burst when he bit it ... ewww never again.

I could've lived on without knowing that...

But th-thanks Belgarath...

BeLGaRaTh said,
I stopped eating McD's years ago when a mate asked for a chicken burger with no mayo, when he ate it, it had mayo on it. He took it back and was advised they hadn't put mayo on it, further checks showed the chicken had a cyst on it and had burst when he bit it ... ewww never again.

yeah cause this so called cyst wouldnt have burst when the meat was being cooked. I once got a taco at taco bell and when i bit into it my wallet was inside and the wallet moo'd cause it was leather so im never eating at taco bell again.

BeLGaRaTh said,
I stopped eating McD's years ago when a mate asked for a chicken burger with no mayo, when he ate it, it had mayo on it. He took it back and was advised they hadn't put mayo on it, further checks showed the chicken had a cyst on it and had burst when he bit it ... ewww never again.

Wowwww. You just got snoped bro.

I used to absolutely hate McDonalds in high school and much of college. I preferred every-other-fast food place over McDonalds.

Now I think they are probably the best fast food out of all the nation-wide franchises. Pretty much every where else serves the discussing soggy burgers. I also much prefer the interior to McDonalds now. The place feels very spacious and welcoming compared to when I was younger.

Anyway, I probably only eat there once a month. So don't get the impression that I'm a glutton to fast food. Everything in moderation. But when it comes down to it McDonalds food tends to be better than the competition in my area, and I have found when I eat there in other areas the food is always consistent.

Emon said,
You probably never had a Five Guys burger.

I'd rather eat at McDonald's than 5 guys. They're about 10x as expensive, and if I'm in a hurry and need fuel (not food), McDonalds is the way to go.

Emon said,
You probably never had a Five Guys burger.

That's not even close to a fair comparison. Five Guys makes an awesome (and greasy) burger, and McD's is just a quick place to grab some grub.

McDonalds is such unhealthy and disgusting food. I'm not surprised they received such a negative response. They like to act like their food is high quality and premium. But in reality it's just the best within a league of bad food. It's like saying I'm the sickest person in a hospital, what do I win? That is what McDonalds is to food the sickest patient in a hospital.

Vice said,
McDonalds is such unhealthy and disgusting food. I'm not surprised they received such a negative response. They like to act like their food is high quality and premium. But in reality it's just the best within a league of bad food. It's like saying I'm the sickest person in a hospital, what do I win? That is what McDonalds is to food the sickest patient in a hospital.

Is this your uneducated opinion?
Can you explain? What makes it so unhealthy? Unhealthy compared to what?

jedilord said,

Is this your uneducated opinion?
Can you explain? What makes it so unhealthy? Unhealthy compared to what?

It is full of suger, salt and fat. Doctors agree that eating this food is very unhealthy and it harms the liver and brings on diabetes. And it's not just the food but it's the drink that accompanies the meal. Crammed full of sugar. Even their salads are unhealthy.

Not to mention the calories in the food. A normal McDonalds meal (Big Mac, Fries and a Drink) is 1250 calories. For most people who just sit at a desk all day that is all the calories you'll need for the entire day in one meal. Forget breakfast and lunch.

Vice said,
A normal McDonalds meal (Big Mac, Fries and a Drink) is 1250 calories.

Except its not. According the the official site, a Big Mac, Fries, and Coke, is only 920 calories. Still not amazing, but your argument is off by 330 calories, which is a rather large amount.

Chrono951 said,

Except its not. According the the official site, a Big Mac, Fries, and Coke, is only 920 calories. Still not amazing, but your argument is off by 330 calories, which is a rather large amount.

Sorry when I said normal meal I meant normal as in the average meal people purchase. I think it would be normal to say most people go to McDonalds to buy a Burger, Fries and a Drink. I did not mean Normal as in portion size. I used a large Coke and Large fries in my example. Which was 1250 Calories when I checked the minute before I made my post.

On the other hand, that's the purchaser's choice to buy a giant coke. It's not exactly McD's fault to give people the option, and they don't choose the makeup of coca-cola. (That doesn't excuse the burger or fries of course).

Kirkburn said,
On the other hand, that's the purchaser's choice to buy a giant coke. It's not exactly McD's fault to give people the option, and they don't choose the makeup of coca-cola. (That doesn't excuse the burger or fries of course).

Of course that is the purchasers choice, that doesn't change the fact that McDonalds food is rubbish food which was my point all along. There is 1050 calories in a Big Mac and Large Fries before the drink is even added.

Vice said,

It is full of suger, salt and fat. Doctors agree that eating this food is very unhealthy and it harms the liver and brings on diabetes. And it's not just the food but it's the drink that accompanies the meal. Crammed full of sugar. Even their salads are unhealthy.

Not to mention the calories in the food. A normal McDonalds meal (Big Mac, Fries and a Drink) is 1250 calories. For most people who just sit at a desk all day that is all the calories you'll need for the entire day in one meal. Forget breakfast and lunch.

almost every resturaunt out there is worse then mcdonalds, Ruby Tuesday for example, big resturant with a claim to "fress and high quality food" well it is, problem is, eat one of their hamburgers, even though it is a whole grain bread and top quality beef, you just in one sitting at the equivilent of 4 big macs... and that is just one place... and at home people think oh i mad it myself its healthy, but that is a false sense of security also, because you dont know the numbers now, people just assume its home made its healthier

gawd I hate those you can keep mcdonalds food for years and its still good comments.... hey people wake up, you you preserve anything correctly that same thing happens! all foods! not just mcdonalds... and all their "tests" are done in the same way that will preserve the food the same as you preserve beef jerkey.... strange that it works that way huh?....

dead.cell said,
Huh? What do you mean by "preserve correctly"? Last I checked, these people didn't use any preservation methods with the McDonald's food, which is WHY it was such a shock in the first place...

http://www.babybites.info/2010/03/03/1-year-happy-meal/
http://www.amusingplanet.com/2...al-dont-age-even-after.html

I dont mean add stuff, I mean keep dust off it, keep it under glass, etc... everyoen I saw did stuff like that

if food is prepared correctly, and handled cleanly you get the same result... we've tested this before with ground beef and bread bought in a local store... cook it right, dont touch it, dont let anything get on it and boom same result, imagin that

the one site even gives this away by saying

The photo above on the left is the one I took today. Because Colorado has an arid climate, over the year the moisture has been slowly pulled from the Happy Meal. The bread is crusty and if you look closely, you will see a crack across the top. The hamburger has shrunk a bit and still resembles a hockey puck. Yet, the French fries look yummy enough to eat. I never had an odor problem, after a couple of weeks, I couldn't even smell the fries.

you basically preserved the food by dehydrating it, without moisture it wont decay

and if you notice every time they do this, they never had condiments on it, why? because they are a moisture source that would make this not work as good

Edited by neufuse, Jan 24 2012, 6:22pm :

But... the first link I gave ya talks about the lady just having it on the shelf...

I purchased a Happy Meal, not to eat, but to observe and blog about. Yes, I bought a Happy Meal and then placed it on my office shelf, right behind me and my computer. It sat on my shelf for a year as a silent witness to our fast food industry.

dead.cell said,
But... the first link I gave ya talks about the lady just having it on the shelf...

dehydration! and its always the same no condiments, just an overcooked hamburger patty a dry bun and fries which are low in moisture, it doesn't take long to dehydrate those in a low humidity climate! do this same test with condiments and pickles on it and it doesn't work

you also have to remember these are meats that are salted, fries that are salted, a preservation technique that has been used for ever, ontop of that dehydration by the climate

Sorry, didn't see your edited post.

Also, I thought you were claiming that these people were intentionally trying to preserve the food. My fault good sir.

They're trying to get rid of anything and everything that would a) cause food to rot and b) cause food born illnesses. Your end result is a product that has very long shelf life. To some, that's very alien. Like the food or not, it is what it is.

If you think back, preserving food is hardly anything new. In fact we owe our survival as a species to it and, in the future, our species will depend on it. Everyone drank beer during the middle ages in Europe because the boiling process killed off the nasty little pathogens teaming in all the water supplies. Just something to think about.

BTW I get an egg mcmuffin (no cheese!) and a coffee there once a week. It's one of the only things I can eat safely since I have no gallbladder, haha.

Co_Co said,
Every comment on twitter is negative and sarcastic...they shoulda known
Every comment on the internet is negative and sarcastic...they & you shoulda known

cybertimber2008 said,
Every comment on the internet is negative and sarcastic...they & you shoulda known

Everyone is negative and sarcastic. Shoulda known

neufuse said,

you know you can tell them how much salt you want on them

yes hello, i would like a big mac with an order of fries... but only 5-10mg of salt plz

btw: i havent eatten at McD's in like 10+ years. and the last time i visited all i got was coffee that tasted like ****

Edited by Eric, Jan 24 2012, 6:06pm :

ShareShiz said,

yes hello, i would like a big mac with an order of fries... but only 5-10mg of salt plz

btw: i havent eatten at McD's in like 10+ years. and the last time i visited all i got was coffee that tasted like ****

I don't know when you got your coffee but the coffee they serve now is actually really good

Edited by Eric, Jan 24 2012, 6:24pm :

ShareShiz said,

btw: i havent eatten at McD's in like 10+ years. and the last time i visited all i got was coffee that tasted like 5HIT

Yeah probably you yelled at the cashier or something and they put the special cream on yours...cause in a couple of blind tastings (obviously with regular people not coffee connoisseurs) in Vegas got better points than Starbucks and BK's coffee was second best....I sometimes go for a cheap and decent cup of coffee, the food I avoid it as much as my budget lets me.

Rudy said,

I don't know when you got your coffee but the coffee they serve now is actually really good


This.
Also, their Latte Macchiato actually tastes REALLY good. Had my first with them in early '09, need to order one again, usually I take a small cappucino.

@ShareShiz: No, but something like "don't salt it, give me a small bag of salt" or "salt it lightly" should suffice!

Me personally, I like the amount of salt they put on them, could be regionally different, too though.

McDonald's in Germany is quite good actually.

GS:mac

Rudy said,

I don't know when you got your coffee but the coffee they serve now is actually really good


Coffee made at home is much better... doesn't cost a thing every morning.

TCA said,

Coffee made at home is much better... doesn't cost a thing every morning.

You stealing yours? Last I checked, I had to purchase my coffee and creamer.

TCA said,

Coffee made at home is much better... doesn't cost a thing every morning.

What briangw said +
when you're OUTSIDE out and about and have a spontaneous thirst for coffee, I'll go tell you about your coffee maker at home!

Of cause there is always a better, sure.
Doesn't mean McD is doing it wrong for what they offer with their coffee and at their price.
Their coffee prices beat the ones of other means of acquiring freshly brewed coffee out there in the streets quite well, at least here in Germany.
As the coffee also happens to taste at least quite good for the price, I'd say they have a happy costumer with me!

Should you however be a coffee maniac who'd rather pay a few bucks more and get all the whistles and bells, even if it's just a dirty little thirst for coffee OR you can wait till you get home, then good for you!

Heck, I sink a few bucks on Starbucks every now and then, too so yeah, I'm not cheap on coffee I guess, I know their prices are hmm... arguable.
But I like what they offer, hence, I like their stores.

GS:mac

Glassed Silver said,

This.
Also, their Latte Macchiato actually tastes REALLY good. Had my first with them in early '09, need to order one again, usually I take a small cappucino.

@ShareShiz: No, but something like "don't salt it, give me a small bag of salt" or "salt it lightly" should suffice!

Me personally, I like the amount of salt they put on them, could be regionally different, too though.

McDonald's in Germany is quite good actually.

GS:mac

That is because of the image McD is trying to have in Germany, that and the quality controls in place in Germany. Sometimes I agree with you sometimes i disagree with you GS but I agree on the Germany comment.

BoyBoppins said,

Makes me want McDonalds strangely. A nice Big Mac and fries. Havent had one in years and years.

Don't do it. My roommate just did that last night and the smell of what happened afterwards overpowered our little room. Even an open window could barely help. #neveragain #McDStories

Tanshin said,

Don't do it. My roommate just did that last night and the smell of what happened afterwards overpowered our little room. Even an open window could barely help. #neveragain #McDStories


lol, and as since it happens to EVERYONE it must be conspiracy people still buy them and you only hear about that not in the restaurants or other common places, but always when many people come together and one starts slamming McD.

Don't get me wrong, I know their food is probably the farthest from ideal I can imagine for that quick moment .... *moment gone* not anymore... but they still sell food that with most people tastes AT LEAST okay.
Obviously, he hasn't had a Big Mac for some time, but knows he likes it generally.

So I say go for it.

Nevertheless, funny story @ article.

GS:mac

Tanshin said,

Don't do it. My roommate just did that last night and the smell of what happened afterwards overpowered our little room. Even an open window could barely help. #neveragain #McDStories


LOL, eat a doner kebab and you'll forget McD pretty fast…

Neobond said,
#McDStories I tried a Fillet-O-Fish once and it tasted like cardboard, never again!

That was because it was made from Cardboard fish. It is found in Northen Pacific ocean. /jk

Neobond said,
#McDStories I tried a Fillet-O-Fish once and it tasted like cardboard, never again!
You probably ate the box (it can be difficult to tell the box apart from the burger).

Fear not though, the box is far more nutritious than the actual burger.

virtorio said,
You probably ate the box (it can be difficult to tell the box apart from the burger).

Fear not though, the box is far more nutritious than the actual burger.

Lol.