Friday, July 27, 2012

McDonald's Gets Transparency Right (after getting it wrong)

Here's a nice effort by McDonald's Canada to be transparent and respond to questions/concerns from customers.  This comes a few months after the Twitter #McDStories fiasco.  The #McDStories was promoted tweet centered around the idea that 'when you make something with pride, people can taste it' and invited Twitter users to submit their stories.  No doubt they expected stories of love, laughter and general culinary delight.  Within minutes it'd been highjacked by such lovely recollections as 'Watching a classmate projectile vomit his food all over the restaurant during a 6th grade trip.' (@jfsmith23).  Needless to say McDonald's pulled the plug on the campaign very quickly.

Now McDonald's Canada (and their agency Tribal DDB Toronto) has taken the lessons learned and launched the McDonald's Canada 'Your Questions website and Youtube channel.  The premise is simple:  'Ever wanted to ask us about the food in our Canadian restaurants?  Now's your chance! We'll answer any questions about our food - even  the tough ones - then post a personal reply from McDonald's Canada.'  

In an extreme act of transparency, they're committed to answering each and every question.  Certain handpicked questions such are being answered with an in-depth behind the scenes video.  A great behind the scenes video answering the question 'Why does your food look different in the advertising than in the store?' has racked up million of views and is an incredibly interesting look at what goes on during a food photo shoot.  Check it out below or head on over to the McDonald's Canada Youtube channel to see more video response videos.

Again, this is a really nice effort to actually engage in meaningful dialogue with customers in a completely transparent manner.  This is increasingly important in light of the recent customer satisfaction index that ranked McDonald's last in satisfaction amongst fast food chains (though those results may just be for the US).  Then again McDonald's was just named the most effective global brand for the second year running at the Effie awards.

via Leon Bayliss