For the second consecutive year, McDonald's is running a Promoted Trend ad on Twitter to push the temporary reinstallment of the McRib. While the 30-year-old pork sandwich briefly coming back to the quick-serve chain's menu has become about as predictable as leaves turning gold and brown in the fall, the McRib seems to take on a life of its own on Twitter.
Rick Wion, social media director for McDonald's, told ClickZ News via email that last year's Promoted Trend results warranted another ad buy on Twitter. Promoted Trends cost $120,000 per day, according to Twitter. Wion said the 2010 ad "drove huge engagement with our customers…we saw tons of occasions where folks who had never eaten a McRib tweeted that they were going to try it for the first time to see what the buzz was all about."
Last year, ClickZ News reported on a bevy of negative tweets about the McRib during the campaign. Wion, however, said sentiment analysis showed that the buzz was "overwhelmingly positive" compared to negative remarks on Twitter.
On Tuesday, "#McRib" was constantly being tweeted or retweeted, bringing the term as an organic trending topic for part of the day. From ClickZ's perspective, while the buzz was undeniable, the sentiment was fairly mixed.
Here are a few reactions from Twitter users:
I love that #mcrib is a promoted search.
McDonalds has put the #McRib into the promoted feed. Had one, once, in about '82. McNever want one again. McPain.
I love McDonalds #McRib
Overall, McDonald's Promoted Trend is part of a multichannel effort - involving digital media, TV, outdoor, and local marketing - to push the McRibs through the limited-time promotion's end on Nov. 14. Public relations firm GolinHarris and digital agency Tribal DDB are helping drive the initiative, which includes McRib-branded Facebook badges and Google Maps integrations.
"We created these unique opportunities because we know from our research, and last year’s experience," Wion said, "that McRib fans are highly engaged online and really appreciate social experiences that let them not only interact with the sandwich but also share their passion with others."
Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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