Brands Are Jumping Onto Tumblr and McDonald’s McDisaster


Top Story: Would You Like Fries With Your McDisaster?

Last week, McDonald’s embarked upon a new Twitter campaign that turned out less than stellar for the brand. But before we talk about it, a little background.

@McDonalds had a very successful Twitter campaign using the hashtag #MeetTheFarmers where McDonald’s suppliers talked about the pride and quality of the ingredients they provide to the company. Great idea.

Fast forward to a newer, vaguer hashtag: #McDStories. Seems harmless enough – ask your followers to tell stories about their experiences with your brand. That is, if you brand is not one that polarizes the masses. The backlash was fast, and in some cases, brutal, from the brand’s vocal detractors.

The lesson? If you know there are some that don’t feel so great about your brand, and you are not actively doing things to repair the things that they criticize (look to Dominoes – they did an AMAZING job admitting defeat and re-positioning themselves as a brand committed to rejuvenating and redefining their brands), it’s probably not the best idea to open the floodgate by asking people to share their experiences with your brands. Remember: the angriest always speak the loudest.


Under the Radar: Bank of America to Test Social Couponing

Have you had enough with daily deal and coupon sites already? Too bad. It seems like everyone has been jumping in on the couponing fun over the past couple years; and now Bank of America is next on the list. The oft-complained-about bank is launching targeted discount ads in an attempt to make you feel a more loyal connection to them.

With the ever so cleverly name BankAmeriDeals, you could begin seeing special offers from the stores you shop at most (and their competitors) when you log into your Bank of America account. It may sound crazy, but Bank of America’s system actually makes sense and sounds easier to use than most. When you opt into one of the deals, you don’t have to pay for the coupon, like you do with many of the other deal sites. Instead, Bank of America will pay you in cash back once you take advantage of the deal. So, if you get a deal for 30% off at your favorite restaurant, you’ll eat at the restaurant, pay full price, and then Bank of America will put the cash back in your account.

While it makes sense why Bank of America is launching these deals and we think the system actually sounds pretty good right now, we have a feeling many will be wondering why Bank of America is launching these new initiatives instead of working on their customer service. But maybe all these cash back rewards will make you love Bank of America a little more? BOA is certainly hoping it will get you to pull out your credit or debit card more than you already do. It sounds like the more you use your card at your favorite stores, the better your deals will be. Is that incentive enough for you to use your Bank of America credit or debit card more often?


Tool of the Week: The Proliferation of Brands on Tumblr

As social networks go, Tumblr isn’t brand new, having been founded in 2007 it has been an established and well-known site for a number of years. But not until recently had the site been looked at as a business tool like WordPress, Blogger and other blog platforms mainly because the blog is setup more for photos and quotes instead of text.

The easy-to-share-nature of Tumblr makes it a fantastic medium for businesses looking to spread their brand quickly across the Web, but it may scare some as well because of how easily buried their content can become (there are currently 38,000 posts every second).

With the rapid adoption of image based social networks (think Pinterest and Instagram), brands are starting to identify the value of imagery as well as rapid fire messaging (Twitter brought brands around to that). Of the industries adopting Tumblr, one of the fastest growing is the publishing community.

What is most interesting about this is the varying use of Tumblr among publishers. The Boston Globe posts large photos with a headline, while the Washington Post publishes full articles. Rolling Stone post snippits of articles, and GQ posts all kinds of funny photos and information. There seems to be no perfect formula yet, but lots of different publications are getting in the action.


Around The Hub: Tim Thomas Making Waves in Washington

Last week the Boston Bruins were honored by Barack Obama at the White House for their championship run last year. Besides the Bruins players and coaches, you could also find Mayor Menino and John Kerry (black eye and all) attending the celebration. But one key member of the Bruins was not in attendance, MVP Tim Thomas.

The only public statement Thomas made on the matter was posted on his Facebook:

“I believe the Federal government has grown out of control, threatening the Rights, Liberties, and Property of the People.

This is being done at the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial level. This is in direct opposition to the Constitution and the Founding Fathers vision for the Federal government.

Because I believe this, today I exercised my right as a Free Citizen, and did not visit the White House. This was not about politics or party, as in my opinion both parties are responsible for the situation we are in as a country. This was about a choice I had to make as an INDIVIDUAL.

This is the only public statement I will be making on this topic. TT”

The Bruins organization seemed disappointed Thomas was not there, and made sure to add that his beliefs were not shared by the organization as a whole. For the most part though, nobody wanted to broach the subject. It was smart of the Bruins players, coaches and management to stay away from this subject as much as possible, because when politics are involved there are too many people they could offend with any opinions either way.

The move by Thomas has caused a lot of arguments in the Boston area among sports and non-sports fans alike. Many believe it was an inappropriate way to handle an event where the entire team was honored, while others are 100% behind his actions. Either way he caused a stir in the Boston community, alienating some fans, but most likely gaining some as well. It will be interesting to see if this causes any backlash from fans and teammates in the future.


What do you think of the McDonald’s Disaster? Will you be using the BOA deals? Do you use Tumblr? What do you think of the Bruins player not visiting the White House? Follow the feedback with #451Labs hashtag and tweet us at @451heat.

Thank’s to @maxesilver@susie@halleyalice for contributing to this week’s #451Labs post!

451 Labs

451 Labs conducts experiments in creative design, advertising, public relations, digital marketing, media buying, experiential events, and content marketing to give you the inside scoop on the latest in digital marketing.

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