Social Media Campaign Review – Scarlett Engineer


March 20th, 2012

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#McDStories – Not Everyone Was Lovin’ It

McDStoriesThere has been plenty of social media campaigns, both innovative and disastrous – I have decided to go with the latter and present the award for #WorldsWorstHashtagger to McDonald’s. (No surprise they aren’t with us today to collect their award!)

McDonalds’ initial objectives for the campaign:

1. McDonald’s created the hashtag #McDStories hoping to get it trending with McDonalds food lovers and their great experiences from eating at the fast food chain

2. They hoped to focus on the quality of ingredients and to introduce the farmers behind the produce with the hashtag #MeetTheFarmers

3. To engage first hand with their market via social media

How they executed the campaign:

On 18 January, McDonald’s sent out two tweets bearing the hashtag #McDStories in an attempt to highlight the hard working people behind the fast food chain

Although, McDonald’s only used the hashtag twice, their campaign backfired, other Twitter users hi jacked the hashtag and used it to tell personal negative stories from their visits to the “Golden Arches”


The McDonald’s hashtag was hi jacked and tweets evolved from unsatisfied customers who spoke in anger about food poisoning incidents and items found in their meals (is it bad to admit I had a McDonald’s this weekend and loved it – #NothingStrangeInMyNuggetsThankGod)

McDonald’s were forced to pull the campaign and within an hour of them doing so, the number of tweets about the topic fell from a peak of 1600 to a few dozen

Rick Wion, Social Media Director for McDonald’s delivered a statement saying: “As Twitter continues to evolve its platform and engagement opportunities, we’re learning from our experiences.”

The campaign is now widely known as #McFail

“I remember spitting out a chicken nugget after finding a chicken nail inside the mechanically separated chicken #McDstories”

McDStories 2McDStories 3McDStories 4

“So PETA and McDonald’s got into it today on Twitter. I was surprised. I didn’t know there was actual meat at McDonald’s. #McDStories”

Shortly after the epic fail of #McDStories, McDonald’s created the #LittleThings intending to create conversation about little things which bring you joy…..although not as widely slated as McDStories, the latest hashtag still has potential to create negative conversation on the brand….

#WhenWillMcDonaldsLearn #McDonaldsNotTheBestHashtaggers

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5 Responses

  1. You would expect a multi-national company like McDonalds to get a small hashtag right, but maybe Social Media Director, Rick Wion should be saying “We’re learning from our long line of mistakes”.
    Twitter is being used as a way for the public to instantly comment, complain and directly blame companies when things go wrong, so maybe McDonald’s should encourage people to use a specific hashtag to do so.
    Thanks for the insightful post, it’s nice to be able to learn from bad social media to help us create winning campaigns.
    Great use of descriptive #hashtags Scarlett! #GoodWork.

  2. Erin Mills says:


    Great blog post, this is a good example of how not to use social media.

    Brands need to be more careful in the future when using hash tags.


  3. Emma says:

    This is a really interesting story. McDonald’s clearly didn’t think of the negative feedback they could receive in response to this campaign.

  4. julie says:

    A great blog on social media fails!

  5. Fina says:

    Great blog… Thanks. Saw this all unfolding on twitter and it did give me a few laughs! Still ‘lovin Maccy D’s myself but awaiting finding something nasty! Definitely will be more wary now! xx

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