- McDonald’s hired 200 new social media employees in order to better target millennials, according to The Wall Street Journal.
- An internal memo obtained by the Journal suggested only 20% of millennials have ever tried McDonald’s flagship item, the Big Mac.
- The fast food franchise has now established digital media hubs in the U.S., Singapore and London in an effort to expand reach.
Big brands are beginning to see social media and its high-touch personal approach with groups like millennials as something that's perhaps best handled internally or via third parties, especially as agencies are slow to adapt to shifting digital markets. PepsiCo is another recent example of the changing relationship, having moved social entirely in-house this week after putting its AOR The Barbarian Group under review.
Though low millennial purchase of an iconic McDonald's item like the Big Mac may sounds alarming at first, Technomic Inc. research found 78% of millennials visited a McDonald's location at least once in Q1 this year — the best turnout in the past three — as the Journal reports. A big expansion of social could net even more foot traffic among young demos going forward, and further build brand personality to establish loyalty.
In May, McDonald's began targeting millennials through Facebook and Instagram spots touting the quality of its burgers, a campaign bolstered by influencer marketing, something that's been hit-and-miss for the brand as of late. In a pivot from older techniques, McDonald's is no longer curating its product to look studio “perfect," and is instead using less photogenic close-ups of actual burgers in a nod towards millennials' known mistrust for staged or contrived looking ads. When it comes to reaching younger audiences, honesty might be the best policy, especially when it comes to social.