McDonald's UK overshadowed by US

May 18, 2012, 11:28 AM GMT+0

McDonald's widely advertised launch of the new drink 'Fruitizz' in the UK has been overshadowed by fast food spitting incident in the US

SoMA, YouGov’s new social media audience measurement tool, has shown that a damaging spitting incident in a US McDonald's fast food restaurant gained more reach among the UK Twitter population than the widely advertised launch of the company's new drink 'Fruitizz' in the UK.

YouGov SoMA: McDonald's

The day the story broke of a McDonald's employee having allegedly spat into a customer’s tea in one of the chain's South Carolina restaurants, the brand reached the newsfeeds of 22% of the UK Twitter population. (For more detail on 'reach' please the bottom of this article)

However, the launch day of new and widely-advertised drink Fruitizz saw that brand reach just 16%.

Tweets including the words “tea”, “customers”, “worker”, “arrested”, “spit”, “spitting” and “police” gained the most traction among 18-24 year olds; 34% of whom on Twitter heard mention of McDonalds on 19th April.

Spitting employees aside, McDonalds might have been more concerned after a rumour emerged that they would stop serving customers who were under 18. This story coincided with a spike in volume of mentions it caused on Twitter, more than double the mentions of the employee spitting incident – although it actually reached 10% less of the population and 4% less than those aware of the Fruitizz coverage.

The McDonald's rumour showed how social media can make local stories global, and why something that had affected only one US store could suddenly cause problems for McDonald's UK.

Social media tracking tool YouGov SoMA has shown that the McDonald's Fruitizz product launch still sustained good reach on the day at 16%, but incidentally that was still less than half the reach Starbucks achieved on the day they gave out free lattes in March – which earned them a spot on 35% of the Twitter population’s newsfeeds (our data shows).

For more information please contact YouGov's press office

What is YouGov SoMA?

YouGov SoMA is the first social media audience measurement tool – enabling you to measure what your target audience is hearing about you.

Bringing research rigour to social media measurement, SoMA uses an embedded sample of the UK social media audience of whom we know everything about – from their age and location to the newspapers they read and the cars they drive. SoMA can provide measurement of messages amongst the social media population as a whole and your target audiences.

This means you can better target your campaigns, get a reliable measure of their impact and ROI, measure whether/ how a crisis is developing and./or impacting your brand, understand the reach or positive news and see the impact of your competitor’s campaigns.

  • 'Reach' – the percentage of people on Twitter and/or Facebook who have heard a mention (positive/ neutral/ negative/ ALL) of your brand in the set time scale e.g. in 1 day
  • 'Mentions count' - total number of tweets made by people followed by our panellists in the set time scale e.g. in 1 day