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Social Media Fail: McDonald’s (again)

While marketers might be chomping at the bit to launch Instagram ad campaigns, in many ways the photo sharing platform is still the Wild West where traditional marketing laws don't always apply.

This is a lesson McDonald's learned when a recent Instagram campaign turned out flatter than a Big Mac patty.

Bacon or fakin?

McDonald's chose Instagram to launch a sponsored ad campaign to promote its Bacon Clubhouse burger

Sure enough the ads, aimed at millennials, got its target market's attention. But not the way McDonald's was hoping for.

No McLovin' 

One ad posted last week had attracted over 45,000 Likes and 2000 comments. But the majority of these were negative. Here's a sample:

“haha this is so gross i got diabetes just looking at this”.

“McDonalds sucks! Boooo”.

“McDonald's ad in my @instagram feed?? #yuck #yucky”.

Time and place

McDonald's persisted with the campaign, yet there are lessons for other brands looking to advertise on Instagram.

First off, the Bacon Clubhouse burger was already something of a flop with users, and wasn't the strongest product to begin with.

Secondly, many users reacted angrily to having their news feed filled with sponsored content, especially from a brand they do not follow. 

Finally, while Instagram is a powerful vehicle for fashion brands, selfies and sports products, products like fast food might not be best suited to the McMedium. 

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