McDonald’s underestimated the power of fandom for their relaunch of Szechuan sauce, Taylor Swift is launching her own social media platform, Skittles’ new ad is creeping people out, and more stories that have people talking this week…
McDonald’s Szechuan Sauce Relaunch Backfires
The highly-anticipated relaunch of McDonald’s Szechuan sauce backfired spectacularly this week, inciting angry crowds and online fury. The ill-fated rollout started when the restaurant announced the return of their 1998 Szechuan sauce for one day only in select locations—a promotion for Millennial-beloved show Rick and Morty, which featured the sauce in a joke in the season three premiere. The brand responded to the surprising interest in their defunct product by bringing it back in a fun promotion for fans, but they seriously underestimated next-level fandom. McDonald’s “supplies of the sauce didn’t even come close to meeting demand,” and police were actually called to locations that had many agitated fans on their hands. The release has sparked an internet frenzy as fans searched for the long-discontinued sauce, with packs selling for hundreds on ebay—and one woman even traded her precious packet for a VW. (You read that right, a car.) McDonald’s has since apologized and promised more Szechuan sauce to come, in a tweet with over 37,000 likes.
T.Swift Is Getting Her Own Social Media World
Speaking of powerful fandoms, Swifties received exciting news this week in the form of a video trending on YouTube announcing a brand new social media platform devoted to their idol. On the heels of releasing her new album, Taylor Swift gave a first look into her upcoming mobile app, The Swift Life, that will serve as a community where fans can interact with each other and the singer herself. No exact release date has been announced yet, but the platform will be launched as a beta within limited territories soon. Excitement is at an all-time high within the Swift fandom, with fans reporting that the singer has been casually messaging them on Instagram and Tumblr, and even dropping in at their houses.
Skittles is Creeping People Out
A recently released Skittles commercial is leaving many shook, and generating Twitter reactions like “Haven’t seen anything as creepy…in a long long time,” and “was better than most movies this year.” Premiering during a break for Game 5 of the Yankees-Indians this week, the two minute commercial could be described as a short horror film. But other than a short intro explaining it as a “bite-size horror” from Skittles and ending with a “Happy Halloween” message surrounded by logos, candy does not appear at all during the storyline. Some started paying attention a few seconds too late and were even more intrigued to find out what the spot was actually advertising. The subtle brand messaging played right into the habits of the ad-skipping generation.
Facebook’s VR Tour Goes Wrong
Facebook’s tour of their new virtual reality platform, Facebook Spaces, took a wrong turn this week in a promotion many are calling out as “tone-deaf” and “tasteless.” Using an Oculus Rift, Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook social VR chief Rachel Franklin met up in the virtual world and took viewers to places like the rooftop of a Facebook building, the moon, and Puerto Rico. It was within NPR’s 360 video documenting the aftermath of the hurricane on Puerto Rico that Zuckerberg made unfortunate comments like “magical” and “it feels like we’re really here in Puerto Rico,” all while images of flooding and destruction appeared behind them. The resulting backlash led Zuckerberg to apologize, stating “One of the most powerful features of VR is empathy…My goal here was to show how VR can raise awareness…Reading some of the comments, I realize this wasn’t clear.”
Bella Hadid went sneaker shopping for Complex and turned into a meme, the internet is paying tribute to AIM, and the Boy Scouts has made a huge announcement—and there are a lot of reactions.
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