McDonald’s is Romania’s biggest restaurant chain and although everyone enjoys its food, lately, youngsters don’t consider McDonald’s the cool place to be seen at.
2015 brought quite a few events for the brand, among them being a phenomenon that would be the start of McDonald’s way back into the cool gang. In the summer of 2015, McDonald’s, became the target of Junimea, a closed 55k members Facebook micro-society that started sending thousands of messages on brands’ Facebook pages in order to generate funny private message conversations they could then post on their secret group's wall for members’ likes and recognition.
Junimea is a closed Facebook group, where outsiders only have access if they receive an invitation from already-members of the group. Its aim is to bring together Romanian youngsters who are interested in humor and creativity. The issue was that their “quest” for original and funny, inspired Junimea members to troll brand pages, in order to generate funny private message conversations with the pages’ admins and post print screens with these on Junimea’s wall. Brand pages received hundreds of messages per hour from group’s members.
At stake was the brand’s reputation and perception, that was to be reflected in the answers the teenagers got from the pages. Faced with this situation that could have turned into a communication crisis if the conversation would have shifted from private messages to McDonald’s Facebook wall, McDonald’s and the agency decided that the CORRECT APPROACH is to engage in conversations with Junimea members and answer all their messages, but with a twist. The agency and McDonald’s foresaw the opportunity to activate a difficult target, made of Millennials and win Junimea members’ respect by playing by their rules. This was the ideal opportunity to create the first DARK SOCIAL campaign in Romania.
General Information:
Strategy: Instead of getting ready for a communication crisis like everyone else, McDonald’s and the agency realized that this was the perfect opportunity for a campaign that would create engagement between the brand and the trickiest audience of all: the millenials.
Junimea is a closed group on Facebook, in order to find out more about its members, the agency had to secretly join the group in order to monitor its activity and know how to approach its members. After we got accepted in the group, we studied the behavior of its members. We started to understand them and were able to PLAY BY THEIR RULES! For instance, for Junimea members OC = original content, is the only content accepted by this group, “cancer” is used when a post is bad, AMC – that moment when etc.
We set the following objectives:
1. Maintain a 70% response rate on McDonald's Facebook page (the usual rate is 100%, but as the agnecy received hundreds of messages per hour, this became a contextualized objective).
2. Obtain a 10% growth of purchase intention of the Combo 1+1 products.
Thus, the social media marathon began! We created a message strategy to meet the target group’s needs: INNOVATION and RECOGNITION and focused on real time engagement and the desire to co- create a campaign alongside Junimea members. Thus, we answered in real time the thousands of messages received, in the Junimea tone of voice, followed by a full digital campaign.
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