McDonald's Transparency Campaign, "Our Food. Your Questions"
In October last year McDonald’s launched its “Our Food. Your Questions” campaign in the U.S. The campaign aims to use social media engagement to encourage transparency about their food products. The transparency campaign, “Our Food. Your Questions”, is based on the success of similar campaigns by McDonald’s, which took place in Canada and Australia. In Canada the “Our Food. Your Questions” campaign was seen as a success as it saw over 20 000 questions answered, with customers spending at least four and a half minutes engaging with the site.
The “Our Food. Your Questions” campaign took place in the U.S. in order to combat sliding sales and improve customer perception of the food quality. McDonald’s is asking people to express their concerns and ask questions about the quality of the food, and to submit those questions via Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. They will then answer people’s questions via webisodes and other social media sites.
In order to show their transparency, McDonald’s have dedicated a section on their website to the campaign and they have created a video series that features Grant Imahara former Mythbuster co-host. In the video series, Grant is tasked with visiting all the McDonald’s suppliers and asking them questions about the quality of McDonald’s products. In the one video Grant is asking the question “What are the chicken McNuggets made of?”
While the campaign appeared to be a success in Canada, their has been a lot of mixed reviews about whether or not the campaign was a success in the U.S. While the hashtag was aimed at encouraging people to ask questions about the food and talk about their love for the brand, it quickly became a tool that was used to talk about how disgusting the food is. The credibility of the campaign also quickly came under question, when McDonald’s failed to answer questions in its’ videos about the salt, sugar, antibiotics and preservatives in their food. Trend Guru, Irma Zandl, stated that the video felt staged and that it was a belated response to Big Food-bashing Chipotle’s video from last year.
McDonald’s still appears to have a uphill battle with regards to people’s perceptions of the food and whilst many people are still eating there, the truth is that people simply don’t think of McDonald’s as a healthy place to eat. This is going to be a huge problem for McDonald’s in the future, as the trend for healthier and more organic foods rises.