In advance, I am somewhat apologetic for the amount of postings that have so far shown marketing in such a negative light while using social media.. However, I will not turn down the opportunity to do so, especially when it is so blatantly obvious that, at times, brands fail to do adequate research when rolling out campaigns, or in this case, a Twitter hashtag.
Recently, Burger King has attempted to improve their image as the battle for fast-food heats up. With McDonald’s moving towards offering consumers healthier menu items, Burger King has finally taken notice.
Burger King has introduced a new, lower-fat French fry known as “Satisfries”, even temporarily transforming certain stores to “Fry King” to promote the new “healthier” (70-90 calories less) fry offering. Now the issue I am questioning is not the transformation of the stores, but the social media campaign Burger King implemented through Twitter and Facebook, that accompanies it.
A question first needs to be asked. What would you think of as soon as you read the hashtag #WTFF. In popular culture, this normally means “What the Flying F*ck”. Unknown to Burger King, they decided to use this hashtag for the campaign along with photos of consumers on Facebook interacting with an inflatable fry, shown above, with the hashtag attached to it. Was the marketing research team totally asleep?
Although Burger King’s intended hashtag was supposed to mean “What the French Fry”, the message clearly did not carry over. Again, this seems to be case of a brand yet again “jumping the gun”. Even when finding out that there was another intended meaning, it appears they have failed to react or minimize any potential damage. It seems that brands using social media need to reconsider their hashtag and ensure that there it has no connection to a derogatory term first.