Some people dislike McDonalds for it’s food. I personally dislike it for its Twitter campaigns. The company not only has one, not two but three failed attempts under its belt! Really guys? You didn’t learn the first two times?
For those of you who are not familiar with McDonalds’ Twitter hashtag promotions, let me break them down for you. The first hashtag created by McDonalds was #McDStories. To make a long story short, this opened up the floodgates for negative criticisms all over Twitter. One user wrote “My memories of walking into a McDonald’s: the sensory experience of inhaling deeply from a freshly-opened can of dog food. #McDStories.” Ouch.
The second failed attempt at a Twitter campaign came with the birth of #littlethings. McDonalds got the ball rolling on this hashtag with a tweet that said “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?” An article written by Todd Wasserman on Mashable.com said that, “Despite the open-ended nature of the campaign, so far few users have used the hashtag as a forum for bashing the brand or taking the conversation in off-color directions.” These off-color directions included “a good cup of coffee in the morning” and “a child’s laugh.” While we can all agree that these comments aren’t nearly as bad as the ones that were posted with #McDstories, they are certainly not the direction the brand wanted to go.
The third and most recent failed attempt included the hashtag #shamrocking. Meant to introduce a classic shake in time for St. Patrick’s Day, the hashtag encouraged Twitter users to take a picture of themselves holding the shake and doing their version of an Irish jig.
Seems innocent enough right? Wrong!
McDonalds overlooked the fact that the word already has a connotative meaning, which is…. unsavory at best. Let’s just say it’s for adult eyes only. For a reference, please see urbandictionary.com.
If this has taught us anything, it’s that we should be prepared for the internet-users of the world to potentially change one thing into something completely different!
It has also taught us to make sure we know the connotative and denotative definitions of the hashtag words we’re using! A simple Google search is all that it would have taken to avoid this debacle. A few extra seconds of your day will save you, and your brand, a lot of embarrassment.
For a massive company with I’m sure quite a few people working on this, it seems at though McDonalds was careless with its hashtags. A Twitter campaign is not something that should be taken lightly. It will take time and quite a lot of research. Do not just throw up a hashtag and pray that it will work out exactly the way you want it to because odds are it won’t.