As McDonalds and Nature’s Valley have shown recently, Twitter can make or break your brand. This post will be a tale of two Twitter accounts: One that faced a challenge and rose above it, and another that faced the wrath of a particularly aggressive Twittersphere.
Yesterday, McDonalds launched a new Happy Meal Brand Ambassador—who also happens to be absolutely terrifying. The brand ambassador is “Happy,” a red box with a cavernous mouth so wide it seems to beckon small children to crawl inside. According to a release, “Happy will be introduced nationwide May 23, and will encourage kids to enjoy fruits, vegetables, low-fat dairy and wholesome beverages such as water or juice.”
The Twitter response, as anticipated, was quick and vicious.
Does anyone else think the new #McDonaldsHappyMeal mascot is creepy as hell? Because seriously: THAT is some creepy stuff. *shivers*
— Louise Barbosa (@ncisfan1002) May 20, 2014
The new McDonald’s happy meal mascot is scarier than Voldemort — Ian Zelaya (@IanDavidZelaya) May 20, 2014
McDonald’s has a new mascot & customers are not lovin’ it. Who is the scariest mascot? http://t.co/pJvkYULmKq pic.twitter.com/v59X6eOhtR
— KREM Nicolle (@KREMNicolle) May 20, 2014
In more positive news, Nature Valley, maker of those extra-crunchy granola bars, has surprised the world by embracing anime fans. According to Buzzfeed, the anime association was sparked when a tween mentioned Nature Valley in an angsty tweet. Jess Wangsness, a social media manager for the company, then tweeted back in a supportive way:
Going to buy some @NatureValley Granola bars before I go to school to discuss anime with my friends who don't exist.
— Tom (@SuperRoyalLand) April 27, 2014
@SuperRoyalLand @galacticpixie @Elkasaurus We've met lots of #anime friends who do exist right here in the Twitter-sphere. Befriend them!
— Nature Valley (@NatureValley) April 28, 2014
This seemingly unlikely friendship has blossomed into full-blown fandom, with anime lovers inserting granolas into anime as a sort of DIY fan art. Here are some examples:
Let the #NatureValley + #anime art fest begin. RT @KokoroAkechi: @NatureValley pic.twitter.com/i5ieAUxHHy
— Nature Valley (@NatureValley) April 30, 2014
Bad angels beware. RT @ryanpbroderick: .@NatureValley You can't fight angels in your EVA unit on an empty stomach! pic.twitter.com/AKMRIf4kQQ
— Nature Valley (@NatureValley) May 7, 2014
According to Wangsness, General Mills knows and is fine with it, although she did have to explain to her colleagues what anime was. She told Buzzfeed that her husband is a big anime fan.
Let this be a lesson to social media managers the world over—embrace your fans! No matter who they may be.