You wouldn't think of McDonald's as your traditional social video marketer, but over the past few years, the burger brand has launched well over 70 social video campaigns. In June, it was one of the web's most-watched brands.
But how did McDonald's do it? The Top Brands in Video Chart this month features heavy viral hitters like Samsung, Google, and Microsoft, which benefit from built-in audiences, sexy tech products, as well as highly anticipated product launches that people can't wait to watch and share. McDonald's latest campaign, by contrast, pulls back the curtains and shows what goes on behind the scenes at a burger photo shoot. It may not sound like the sexiest description, but, as we'll see, going viral and generating views and earned media is a state of mind that permeates throughout a campaign. The high-level result is a month worth nearly 8 million views for McDonald's and a seventh place finish among all brands.
Powered by data from Visible Measures, this monthly chart looks at the most-watched brands in online video, across all of their campaigns. (Check out past charts for May, April, and March.)
Think brand, act social
Back in January, McDonald's faced a major social media backlash when it launched a Twitter campaign to get people to share their McDonald's stories. The problem with the campaign wasn't that people didn't share it, it was what people shared, quickly turning the situation sour for the brand. To make matters worse, the pink slime story hit soon afterwards, with McDonald's at the center of the controversy.
But instead of letting the media and public frame the issue, McDonald's went on the offensive. The result is the campaign "Our Food. Your Questions," which has helped elevate the fast food maker to the top of brands in video this month.
The campaign set out with a clear goal: Build trust with customers by starting a transparent dialogue about McDonald's food. McDonald's had a real brand problem to solve with this campaign and it decided to do it socially.
The campaign takes customers' questions about the brand and responds with frank answers. Questions include: Why does your food look different in advertising than what is in the store? Is the chicken real meat? Why is Micky D's so cheap? Does McDonald's use real eggs?
McDonald's Canada has already produced and published a number of video responses to these questions. By putting consumers at the center of the campaign, and directly answering their questions, the campaign is inherently social while enabling McDonald's to remain "on brand" in its responses. The result is that consumers get a moment in the spotlight, feel like they're heard, and, as a result, are more likely to share the responses important to them, which drives views.