Maccas fights negative WOM by tracking food journey

It’s no secret that fast food giant McDonalds has gone to great lengths educating customers about their menu’s legitimate nutritional value. The launch of Track My Maccas shows that McDonalds feel customers still aren’t quite getting the message.

Everyone’s heard the classic McDonalds urban legends (I seem to recall an unfounded rumour of pig fat in the thick shakes?). Track My Maccas is one response to combatting those negative consumer conversations.


Track My Maccas is an iphone app, offering customers a rare insight into the journey their meal has taken to get in front of them. Using GPS tracking and QR codes, the app can identify exactly which ingredients went into your meal, and where they came from. Augmented reality creates a 3D version of this food journey, played out for consumers as they eat at their McDonalds table.


The food-story unfolding includes information in cartoon form, such as which farm the wheat for their buns came from & which farmer managed the cattle for their beef patties.

These sorts of brand stories are hugely important from a WOMM (word of mouth marketing) perspective – providing conversation starters for the consumer to share with their friends, using them as re-education tools. McDonalds is initiating a chain of WoM, not just while the consumer is eating (they’re able to share the app’s findings across their social networks), but post-meal as well.

We often tell our clients that combatting negative WOM shouldn’t necessarily be a primary concern when running WOMM campaigns. Research shows that it only generally accounts for 10% of overall brand conversation (Keller Fey, 2006). However, McDonalds’ unique position in the fast food spotlight, means the Track My Maccas approach is not only a clever WOMM approach, but a necessary one.


Marni Nemeny

About Marni Nemeny

Marni is a Business Director at Contagious. Marni Likes: reading restaurant reviews, creative brainstorms, Pictionary and keeping things simple Marni Doesn't Like: stop-overs, being bored, missing out on the NEXT BIG THING, yoghurt covered sultanas
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