I rarely ever describe a story as "laugh out loud" funny, because let's face it, most of the things the LOL tag gets attached to are just not amusing enough to elicit even an audible chuckle. Maybe it's because I'm a cynical old meanie, but I actually DID laugh out loud at this story from the Springfield State Journal-Register about McDonald's recent ill fated Twitter campaign:
When McDonald's began promoting the #McDStories hashtag Wednesday on Twitter, the idea was to get people talking about their experiences with the fast-food giant. And in that sense, it was a rousing success: The phrase exploded in popularity as Twitter users across the country shared stories of their visits to McDonald's.And no, as much as I'd like to claim the credit, it wasn't me who Tweeted the message I highlighted in bold above. In fact, I don't Tweet at all. But if I ever did, I'd retweet that bad boy as many times as I could.
Unfortunately, McDonald's learned a harsh lesson in social media marketing: When you encourage people to talk about your company, they're not always going to say nice things.
While McDonald's own tweets on the topic tended along the lines of "When u make something w/pride, people can taste it," actual customers were less inclined to toe the company line. "I haven't been to McDonalds in years, because I'd rather eat my own diarrhea," read one top tweet by @Muzzafuzza. Another user, @Jetsonjetsonjet, referred readers to a viral video of a mouse crawling through a bag of hamburger buns.
Meanwhile, animal rights activist @michellevegan tweeted that "@McDonalds scalds baby chicks alive for nuggets," and linked to a site run by the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. It was retweeted more than 100 times.
Yes, it appears McDonald's lost control of the narrative here.
Hey, McDonald's, I know you and I haven't been on speaking terms since I got that mild case of food poisoning at one of your horrible restaurants a decade ago, and I realize that you are probably offended that Super Size Me is one of my favorite documentaries, but let me give you a little bit of friendly advice here. People generally don't flock in to buy your Big Macs, McNuggets and McMuffins because they are able to taste the alleged pride by which your minimum wage earning staff thaws that shit out, heats it up and sticks it in a bunch of garbage dump filling wrappers. They buy that crap because it is cheap and convenient, and we're a culture that has come to value cheapness and convenience at the expense of nearly everything else.
So just go with the flow and embrace the suck. After all, it is exactly that which has made your company so insanely profitable in the first place.
Bonus: "I think I'm going to have to go Super Size!"