For decades, McDonalds has always kept a tight lid on what their fast food was actually made of. There were always haters and skeptics, of course, who claim that the food quality of the famous franchise restaurant was little more than slop. However, McDonald’s never had to care. People who ate McDonalds probably knew what they were eating wasn’t healthy, but it was (subjectively) tasty and definitely inexpensive, so sales stayed strong.
However, with sales numbers dropping and a global first-world shift towards healthier and organic food choices, McDonalds was forced to take action. International scandals such as the expired meat fiasco in China and the dead mouse in someone’s coffee cup in Canada didn’t help matters much.
To address this, McDonalds embarked on a new social media campaign focused on answering the tough questions and bringing a little transparency back into their brand. The company invites anyone to send in any food questions to their Facebook or Twitter pages and McDonald’s will answer a selection of them through a series of videos. These videos are hosted by former Mythbusters member Grant Imahara.
Will this work?
It’s certainly a step in the right direction. People just don’t trust businesses as much as they used to and businesses often have to make themselves more transparent to build trust. McDonalds has relied on a strong customer base for a very long time, but they’re finding that even a massive company like theirs can’t just ignore their customers.
However, the current number of dislikes on the YouTube video above shows just how much more work needs to be done. As one commenter states:
“Problem is, [Grant] is a paid sponsor for McDonalds. This is counterintuitive and presents no real evidence to the contrary.”
The thing with social media is that it’s always going to be a conversation between the company and the customer. McDonalds has taken a good first step, but it’s more important to look at how they will react to all the criticism. If they can prove their legitimacy to the skeptics, we predict McDonalds will greatly improve their brand image.