President Donald Trump is famous for many reasons, one of which is his love of fast food — especially McDonald’s. So when @McDonaldsCorp tweeted nastiness to @realDonaldTrump, it seemed fishy. But while the fast food giant deleted the Thursday tweet in short order, a fast food brand going socially rogue didn’t raise many eyebrows.
— Atomic Elbow™ (@AtomicElbow1) March 16, 2017
“Based on our investigation,” McDonald’s states in its Web newsroom, “we have determined that our Twitter account was hacked by an external source. We took swift action to secure it, and we apologize this tweet was sent through our corporate McDonald’s account.”
Many Trump supporters unhappy with this statement have been calling for a McDonald’s boycott because when the brand only mentions deleting the tweet, without including an apology to the president. Still other consumers who support Trump thought the deleted tweet had actually been a brand statement.
— Paul Vail (@Vail5Paul) March 17, 2017
Perhaps that’s because most notably, a Wendy’s rebrand had that burger joint go from milquetoast in 2016 to cheesy snarkiness in 2017 had already made news. @Wendys got in a much-publicized Twitter fight with a consumer and regularly belittles McDonald’s and its customers. But @Wendys drew the line on Jan. 4, when the brand tweeted an alt-right meme of Pepe the Frog, quickly deleting the post and calling it an accident. That action prompted Trump supporters to call for a boycott of the brand.
It was evident on Friday evening while reviewing the @McDonaldsCorp feed that the tweet from the reportedly hacked account was uncharacteristic for the cheery brand. The below exchange with a customer was the brand’s edgiest on this social network.
@snowfallphan Sometimes they need to cool off. Don’t ice us out. We hope you’ll give us another chance!
— McDonald's (@McDonaldsCorp) March 17, 2017
A Wired writer came to McDonald’s defense with backhanded advocacy: “That Deleted McDonald’s Tweet? Too Surreal, Even For Fast-Food Twitter.” OK, marketers. Brian Raftery says there’s a “fast-food Twitter.”
As for the president who’s known for tweeting, no statements about McDonald’s appeared on @realDonaldTrump or @POTUS.
So Trump’s last statement about the Golden Arches was to CNN in February 2016: “It’s great stuff,” he told host Anderson Cooper during the CNN Republican presidential town hall with South Carolina voters.
That CNN Politics article notes that Trump “seeks out the fish, Big Macs and Quarter Pounders with cheese.”
For a while on Thursday, Trump detractors were calling McDonald’s a Big Mac because of the defamatory tweet.
What do you think, marketers? Besides QSRs, what’s a vertical that would have trouble convincing the public that a tweet like this was the result of a hack?
Please respond in the comments section below.