Lessons Learned:

  • Open a venue to address your customers’ questions.
  • Respond to “tough questions” with your own voice and style.
  • Show customers who you are, what you stand for, what your products are and how to use them.  Take a stand!
  • Global vs. Local Marketing: Social media is best driven by local/country (e.g. McDonald’s Canada), while global/headquarters focuses on providing high-level strategy and guidance (McDonald’s Headquarter).

Why does the food look different in ad than in real life?

I am not much a fast-food eater, therefore, I rarely go to any fast-food franchises. However, I like McDonald’s Canada YouTube Channel: Our Food/Your Questions.

You can submit questions and McDonald’s Canada will address them accordingly.  Some are tough questions such as “Do you get your meat from factory farming?” or “Is it true that you guy’s (sic) spray some type of liquid inside of your soft drink cups…to prevent us from throwing-up?”

Granted the answers may sound a bit corporate, but McDonald’s Canada has made an effort to address customer questions with a personable tone and manner. 


One video (above) they posted last week generated more than 5M views.  A short 3:27 video answered a simple question: why hamburgers we buy at stores look so different from those in advertising?  It’s funny that a hamburger has a “stylist”.

The key message from the video: They acknowledge they “suite up” their foods for advertising, but stresses all the ingredients stay the same and there is no difference in terms of the quality of the food.

One interesting note: McDonald’s Canada Channel disables comments on all videos they produce.  One may question its authenticity and corporate-control. As a corp. marketer, I understand the decision of disabling the comment to filter unwanted spam and noise.  Frankly, if customers have “real” questions, they can still go to the “Featured” Tab: Our Food/Your Questions to post their questions.

While you may not take their entire explanation at face value, you can appreciate their stance on the answers to sometimes-controversial questions.

Closing your eyes and hoping tough questions go away is unlikely to work well in the long run.

Do you make an effort to explain your actions and strategy when challenged?

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Pam Didner

Posted on

June 28, 2012

Content Marketing, Global Marketing Blog, Localization