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McDonald’s is a global brand, known for fast and affordable food. But, that comes with a lot of naysayers. For years, Mcdonalds had to face flack for “unhealthy food” or “not using real ingredients.” Heck someone made an entire documentary focusing on how unhealthy McDonalds food is. So with all the misconceptions and negative tropes on the mean streets, McDonlads said to themselves - Let’s give the people what they want...
The “Our Food, Your Questions” campaign.
The campaign actually started out with McDonald's Canada back in 2012, giving people the chance to ask anything to McDonald’s corporate about it’s food. Questions like “What’s in the Big Mac sauce?” or “Are Chicken McNuggets made from pink goop?” They drove traffic to a custom built landing page where consumers submitted their questions, and here’s where it gets awesome.
They responded...with video.
As a matter of fact, key staff members within the McDonald’s corporation answered questions directly via short and informative “webisodes”. The most popular video features Hope Bagozzi, creative and marketing director, who explains why a hamburger looks different in advertising than when you buy it at the restaurant. The video has over 12 million views! I suggest you watch some of the webisodes, they are very cool and very REAL.
The campaign was a huge success.
First of all, McDonald’s Canada was named “Marketer of the Year” in 2013 as a result of the campaign. McDonald’s Australia and US soon thereafter launched their own transparency campaigns too, and saw amazing success.
Let’s take a look at some of the numbers. (We’ll focus on the Canada numbers since they were the originators of this campaign.)
But wait, there’s more!
Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. Wendy’s launched a similar video campaign showing their farm to table story of the lettuce in their salads.
Why was this campaign so successful?
Well, honesty is the best policy. And McDonald’s KILLED IT, in this campaign. By using video, they let their audience in on “trade secrets”, they introduced them to real people in the company and they let their clients feel and experience the answers to their biggest questions. I don’t think this campaign would have been as successful as it was without the use of the webisodes since those videos did more than answer the questions.
Another awesome takeaway is that they didn’t start with video, but used it to complement and achieve their overall goal which was to change perceptions. I think other businesses can take that into account when they are planning goals and how to achieve them. If you analyze the funnel here it was:
1. Digital and print ads to get them to website.
2. User inputs questions
3. McDonald’s produces videos BASED off questions.
4. McDonald’s blasts said videos at the same time answers said questions on website. You’d be surprised how often marketers miss this crucial piece of important planning. If you want to have the biggest impact with your video - you need to plan where and when you want your audience to see it and how it helps the overall goal. That’s what funnels are for right?
I love this campaign. It’s real, it’s honest and it’s consistent in its delivery. I love how every video opened with an important staff member holding up a tablet with the question. I also love how unique each video was in its style and content.