McDonald’s haven’t had the best record of creating hashtag-based campaigns this year and their most recent attempt, #Shamrocking, honoring their Shamrock Shake and St. Patrick’s Day seems to be falling on deaf ears.
A sponsored post on BuzzFeed read “Have You Tried #Shamrocking Yet?” They introduce the concept by explaining "The Irish jig has been an expression of joy since the 16th century, and thanks to the hot new viral trend of #Shamrocking, it's making a modern day comeback. Check out some of these high-stepping #Shamrockers, then get out there and treat your friends to a shake and make them dance with delight!"
This is a brave attempt indeed for McDonalds. Just in this January their hashtag campaign became a “bashtag”, as Forbes magazine reports. They had attempted to start a campaign entitled #McDStories with the hope of reading heartwarming tales, instead what they got was tweet such as:
“One time I walked into McDonalds and I could smell Type 2 diabetes floating in the air and I threw up” and “#McDStories I lost 50lbs in 6 months after I quit working and eating at McDonald’s.”
As for #Shamrocking, AdWeek reports that the word already has a very unsavory meaning (see Urban Dictionary). They also comment on the new campaign being rather brave and say “the concept just feels stale. The photos are reminiscent of the Captain Morgan pose.”
Similarly, the reaction on Twitter seems to be a general air of confusion.
The International Business Times however reminds us that a failing hashtag meme is better than the fiasco in New York City five years ago when there was no Shamrock Shakes to be found.
This year, a spokes person for McDonald’s told the New York Daily news, “We are happy to announce that Shamrock Shakes, which are served in a clear cup with whipped cream and a cherry on top, are now available in all New York area McDonald's while supplies last.”
It seems that the Shamrock Shake will sell itself it remains to be seen whether this campaign will work.