Chris Reed
Jun 1, 2013

McDonalds turns Hello Kitty promotion into a social media meltdown

It sounds like such a great idea. Create some Hello Kitty fairytale characters. Give them away when people order McDonalds McDelivery in Singapore. Then wait for the customer backlash when you run out of stock and outpouring of negative social media comments.

McDonalds turns Hello Kitty promotion into a social media meltdown


McDonalds kicked off the Hello Kitty fairytale promotion last week. Every week if you can purchase the McDonald's Hello Kitty Fairy Tales Collectibles at $4.60 each when you purchase any Extra Value Meal. …while stocks last. As stocks appear to have lasted minutes rather than 7 days as they were supposed to,  it looks like McDonalds massively underestimated the demand for free Hello Kitty characters in a country/region that is mad about Hello Kitty…..

Where this should have a massive positive judging my news media and McDonalds own facebook page it has turned into a massive negative. Here are just a selection of current comments, all unanswered by McDonalds I might add…

“ is the Witch Kitty out of stock already? I tried to order McDelivery online today but was unable to select the Witch Kitty. Please share more updates to consumers as we do not know the status. May I also suggest making it available at all outlets instead of requiring us to order via McDelivery”

No answer from McDonalds.

“McDonald's, you have FAILED big time. It was certainly a big way to tell the whole Singapore that McDelivery SUCKS. So please use your brains, if any, before you come up with some SICK promotional campaign to manipulate the behaviour of your consumers.”

No answer from McDonalds.

“now, all i get is "We are currently unable to take your order as your delivery store is not able to deliver. Thank you for your understanding. We apologise for the inconvenience caused. when i am next able to order via your website, i am pretty sure i will be given news that the witch kitty is OOS.”

No answer from McDonalds.

“too late.. they have decided 5 min ago they cannot deliver to TPY.. so now, no delivery to Sengkang, none to Serangoon North.. none to TPY.. and even Raffles Place is out now.”

No answer from McDonalds

“So disappointed with your delivery service! I placed my order online for 2 meals and 2 McDelivery Hello Kitty witch but received the Hello Kitty lion. Called the phone no. provided on the receipt and was told that the requested kitties were out of stock. The online order was placed on 30 May 2013 at 9.09am, aren't there ample time for your staff to put the kitties aside for an advance order?? Your delivery staff did not even confirm my orders, and there were no napkins provided.”

No answer from McDonalds.

“Hello. I want to order mcdelivery, but due to the stupid kitty, i cannot even order! I dun wan the kitty! What a stupid system! Only get kitty by delivery. If your stores cannot handle the orders, please dun use this method. Wondering how many people is going hungry because of the kitty promotion!”

No answer from McDonalds.

“I just log-in on Mcdelivery website, wanting to order some supper & get my Witch kitty, realise the system don't let me place order/deliver to my place?! wah.. wth 1st-time ever experience such issue, wanna pre-order advance for breakfast instead for tml, also unable.”

No answer from McDonalds.

“You should have anticipated the forever overwhelming orders for Hello Kitty. Didn't you learn from the previous experience. Trying to call the hotlines, however, there is no response. Wanted to place online orders. And your reply is: We are currently unable to take your order as your delivery store is not able to deliver”

No answer from McDonalds.

There are many, many more comments like this on a busy Saturday and not a single McDonalds answer! It’s their facebook page! Don’t they realise that offering a 24/7 delivery service and having a 24/7 facebook page means you need a 24/7 customer service/social media service too?

The problem of purely using the delivery channel to do this is that people who don’t care about Hello Kitty have also been caught in the cross fire and been unable to order or had orders delayed. So a promotion that should have benefited this most lucrative of channels has turned into a PR disaster that McDonalds seemed unable to anticipate or in fact deal with.

20% of McDonalds sales in Singapore are through delivery, partly because Singapore is a uniquely small and well connected island where delivery is easy and partly because Singaporeans love McDonalds…well did, not sure they do now!

Contrast this promotion with the 7-11 Hello Kitty Tokidoki promotion, also bizarrely kicking off at the same time in Singapore. Well done Hello Kitty…..not so well done 7-11 and McDonalds….

The mechanic is in store and linked to spend. $4 spend and you get 1 stamp/1 bonus stamp. 6 stamps  +$3.90 and you can get 1 figurine. 18 stamps and you get it free. Similar mechanic but interestingly their facebook page is full of people wanting to swap figurines and any query is being answered by 7-11 staff unlike McDonalds. 7-11 have also started saying you now get 2 free stamps so they must have under-demand or have perfectly managed demand compared to McDonalds.

Who’s got their social media policy right and who’s got their promotional policy right? 7-11 - 3 McDonalds - 0.

Editor's note, 2:25 pm, 3 June: This blog posting originally claimed that McDonald's had removed negative comments from Facebook. A spokesperson for McDonald's contacted Chris Reed and Campaign Asia-Pacific by email to dispute the claim that comments were deleted.

"The wall postings, captured as screenshots in your article, remain on the McDonald's Singapore Facebook wall, from when the individual posted them, and have not been deleted or hidden by us," wrote Kevin Lim. "Fans who are active users on our Facebook page would know that we do respond to most messages where able - either on the wall or through private messages."

Campaign Asia-pacific has confirmed that the comments in question are still viewable in the McDonald's Singapore 'Recent posts by others' stream. We have removed all mention of McDonald's deleting comments from the blog post. We regret the error.

Campaign Asia-Pacific gives a few trusted contributors, such as Reed, the ability to post to their own blogs without editorial oversight prior to publication.




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