Backlash for McDonald’s during Sochi

Backlash for McDonald’s during Sochi

Sochi sponsor McDonald’s came under fire on social media during the two week games with only 1% of tweets about the fast food chain being deemed positive.

B&T Magazine
Posted by B&T Magazine

According to research conducted by social media agency, We Are Social, there was much questioning surrounding McDonald’s legitimacy to sponsor a sporting event with 35% of tweeters commenting on the chain’s obesity issues.

“McDonald’s quickly realised it was unable to convince the audience of its legitimacy as a

sponsor, with overwhelmingly negative public sentiment reflecting a perceived disparity

between a fast food company and the sporting event,” Michael Batistich, head of insights and analytics at We Are Social, said.

In terms of number of mentions on social media, We Are Social found that Visa was Sochi’s most successful sponsor on social media with Proctor & Gamble not far behind.

Through the agency’s analysis from 7-18 February, it found Visa used images and Vine content effectively to create conversation around its brand.

However, while Visa had the most number of mentions, the research found around 99% of them were neutral, consisting of retweets and mentions without opinion.

Regarding sentiment, We Are Social couldn’t go past Proctor & Gamble who nabbed a whopping 67% of positive mentions.

“In stark contrast [to McDonald’s], the P&G and VISA campaigns both resonated with social media users by focussing on the spirit of the Olympics and the achievements of the athletes,” Batistich added.

“As a result, these sponsors tapped into the popular mood of the games, gaining social currency and giving people a reason to share their content.”

According to the release “We Are Social found that the brand effectively leveraged its TV advert on social channels to help drive awareness and positive sentiment.”

Overall, the Sochi games were mentioned 7.3 million times throughout the eleven days with 2.17 million mentions using the hashtag #sochi2014.

The parody hashtag #SochiProblems turned out to be the sixth most used hashtag surrounding the games.

“McDonald’s #cheerstosochi hashtag was hijacked prior to the games when it became the focus of negative public sentiment about Russia’s human rights issues and anti-gay stance,” Batistich said.

“From that point the brand struggled and never regained a credible voice within the conversation.”

Ten’s coverage of Sochi has seen a number of ups and downs this season with last weekend seeing audience peaks of over a million.

The Sochi 2014 on Ten app was also a big hit among Aussies, drawing more traffic towards the website and people catching up on the games using Ten’s catch up program Tenplay.