Are Those Real Fries?

McDonalds is a massive global company, grossing around $27 billion in annual revenue. They have undertaken various marketing campaigns over the years, but my favourite is the huge social media campaign that McDonalds Canada launched last year, with great continuing success.

The “Our Food, Your Questions” campaign launched last May, in an effort to create direct dialogue with customers. More specifically, it targets customers who have doubts about their food; its ingredients, quality, source and cooking process. They invited customers to submit their questions, and responded to them with personal written responses, labelled photos and YouTube video demonstrations – in order to show true transparency and vulnerability.

The result? More than 14,000 questions were submitted, and their YouTube channel garnered 10 million views (that’s one for every three Canadians!). Customers now have an increased awareness of menu items, and have an improved trust with the company as a whole. It was so successful that McDonalds’ in other countries are looking to develop similar campaigns (read more here).

One of the major reasons this social media campaign didn’t crash and burn was the sheer confidence and commitment from McDonalds Canada – they had an entire department dedicated to responding to questions, publishing content, and coordinating video shoots, and were prepared to be completely transparent with their answers, even if it was uncomfortable (like revealing that it takes 3 hours to do a Big Mac photo shoot!)

Comments Welcome! What do you think are the keys to success for initiatives like these? Do you admire McDonalds’ attempt at transparency, or are you still going to avoid their food anyway?

-Michelle Clarke, Consultant/Analyst