When Promoted Hashtags Are Campaign Killers

This post originally appeared in our April ’13 issue of “Live Report from the Future of Marketing,” our monthly Post-Advertising newsletter. Subscribe for free here.

No matter how lofty a brand’s goals are when it uses hashtags, there are always individuals ready to use them to drag it into the gutter.

McDonald’s is on its second go-round with promoted hashtags gone awry, this time with #UnwrapWhatsFresh. The hashtag was created to support McDonald’s new Premium McWrap, which features chicken (grilled or crispy) and fresh vegetables served in a warm tortilla. 

The hashtag was promoted on Twitter, but instead of talking about healthy eating, a number of people were tweeting these sweet nothings:


For Loyal United Fliers, Logo Change Seems Out of the Blue

Recently, the world's largest airline company got off the ground when United and Continental finalized a multi-billion dollar merger. United-Continental Holdings Inc. allows United keep its name while adopting Continental's stylized globe logo. This change has upset lots of  frequent fliers. Angry loyalists have rolled out a  “Save the Tulip” campaign online encouraging United fans to send letters and flowers to the company’s executives. What's with these people?