Apr 28 Posted 4 years ago
You bring up a valid point. What I meant by misinterpretation was that the public interpreted the hashtag campaign the way that they did, not the way McDonald's had hoped or thought they would. You're right, saying that it wasn't really McDonald's fault were not the right words. It was a failed marketing campaign on their end. The simple point I was trying to prove was that had McDonald's taken an objective eye to the campaign before they launched it, they should have been able to realize that this outcome was very plausible.
I 100% agree that McDonald's handled the situation the only way they should have, and because of that it was quickly over with. In that sense, McDonald's may not have been the perfect example to use - I should have found one that rang true to the very end of the post, the "How to resolve a crisis" part included.
Thanks for taking the time to read my post and leave me your thoughts!
Apr 28 Posted 4 years ago
Nice article, Melissa. I just want to offer a couple observations. The McDonald's hashtag campaign went wrong, I believe, because McDonald's confused their sales position with engagement. Just because you're #1 in your sector doesn't mean people are engaged with your brand. The hashtag was a campaign based on the assumption that people who are active in the social space would jump at the chance to tell a wonderful story about how McDonald's had changed their life. Total misunderstanding about why they are #1. This was the same misread they had on their series of "back to the farm" commercials showing testimonies from the farmers that provide McDonald's food (after about 4 or 5 stops in the food processing chain). There are too many people out there that were enraged by Fast Food Nation to think those spots would work. Trying to raise sentiment where there is none is just plain stupid.
I say all this to say that your information is right on. But, I don't think the McDonald's example fits the framework here. Their attempt wasn't misinterpreted by the public--this is a classic case of trying to give the public what you want them to have, not what they really need or want. I like where you're going--I just don't agree that the crisis arose from misinterpretation. It was a dumb move on McDonald's part, I think it was totally their fault. They need to get a grip on their position in the public's sentiment and understand how to use storytelling in the social media space. This was a marketing failure first, a social media misstep second. There was no fixing it. Any attempts to clarify it in the social space would have brought on a firestorm of negative public reaction. They did the right thing by pulling the plug on the whole thing and letting it die a quiet death. Just my thoughts...
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