Answering the BIG Question

by Vianka McConville

Transparency is very important in today’s digital age and ignoring an unpleasant question or situation is never the best answer. Outside of a crisis, it may take a bit longer sometimes to prepare an appropriate response to a question, but it has to happen. As a global company with undeniable exposure to criticism, McDonald’s (specifically McDonald’s Canada) is addressing every last concern with the brand and its products in a novel campaign, “Your Questions.” I came across the website through an Ad Age article including the director of marketing for McDonald’s Canada confronting “Why does your food look different in the advertising than what is in the store?” The marketing director introduced the idea of food styling and photography through a helpful video answering the question.

Anyone can ask a question on the website. Other questions include “Why is the food at McDonald’s so cheap?,” “How is it that a McDonald’s burger does not rot?,” “Are your McNuggets really made from crushed chicken bones?” and my personal favorite, “Why are you doing this campaign?” A reader of the website has the option to follow a question if it has not yet been answered by McDonald’s. The reader choosing to follow the question will be contacted via social media when the answer is posted.

As this article adds, it is interesting to see McDonald’s be so upfront and willing to answer its criticisms after years of shying away. As communicators, we have to bite the bullet and work through unpleasant situations to build greater trust in the future.

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