In a shocking twist that McDonald's marketing officials never saw coming, Twitter users hijacked a campaign meant to inspire fond McMemories and instead turned it into a veritable roast.
McDonald's launched the initiative last week by introducing the hashtag #McDStories on Twitter. It wasn't long before the campaign took on a life of its own as Twitter users recalled horror stories about unsavory meals or took the opportunity to sling criticism at the fast food chain.
McDonald's quickly realized the campaign had backfired and pulled the paid-for hashtag, but the tweets didn't let up. In fact, the hashtag is still cooking on Twitter now. Here's a taste:
Flies all over the soda fountains, the pervasive smell of urine, and the constant brawling between the local drunk bums. #McDstories
— Steve Rechtman (@steverechtman) January 24, 2012
I once caught two coworkers peeing into the pickle barrel at McDonald's. #McDStories
— OhMayaGOD (@OhMayaGOD) January 24, 2012
— Kendall Thornton (@kendallSF) January 24, 2012
Ate a McFish and vomited 1 hour later....The last time I got McDonalds was seriously 18 years ago in college..... #McDstories
— RsyP (@stilletochemist) January 24, 2012
I haven't been to McDonalds in years, because I'd rather eat my own diarrhea. #McDStories
— Robby Kenison (@Muzzafuzza) January 18, 2012
"As Twitter continues to evolve its platform and engagement opportunities, we’re learning from our experiences," Rick Wion, McDonald’s social media director, told the L.A. Times.
So there's the hot, juicy lesson for mega corporations -- think twice before starting a #hashtag. You want fries with that?