Marketing Spotlight: the McDonald’s CBO Mashup

Whether you’re a fast food lover or a health nut, one thing is indisputable in the realm of Social Media; McDonald’s knows how to market their products online. Successful companies like McDonald’s have realized that Internet Marketing isn’t about strictly delivering brand messages – it’s about engaging users in unique, fun ways that’ll keep them coming back for more.


McDonald’s recently introduced their new Cheddar Bacon Onion sandwich – aptly titled CBO in the world of internet acronyms – and they’re lighting up their internet presence with some creative marketing.

Their Facebook page is an entertaining mix of visually heavy posts, with recent updates pointing fans towards their new CBO community feature. Titled a “Threemendous” sandwhich due to it’s three prominent ingredients, McDonald’s is encouraging users and fans to pick from fifteen different words they would use to describe the new CBO. Users begin by choosing a chewing action like “Chomp” or “Gobble”, then an ingredient word like “Cheese” or “Bacon”, followed by an adjective such as “Wonderful” or “Scrumptious”. After the choices are made, the user is presented with a word compiled of their three picks and then given the option of Tweeting it out to their Followers on Twitter, or Sharing it with their friends on Facebook.

Why is this good marketing?

Users browsing their Twitter and Facebook feeds will see these eye-catching word mashups posted by friends and their curiosity may be piqued. It’s not every day you see the word Gobbacomptious on your Facebook feed! Word generators are fun in their own right, but McDonald’s has put together a brainless way for their fans to interact with the CBO while staring at three delicious versions of this sandwich, and then with just a click of a button they can show off their creations to friends. McDonald’s has taken their word generator to an amusing, mouth-watering level and seamlessly tied it into Social Sharing.

Couple this unique but simple experience with an awesome visual and audial introduction on the community landing page, and you’ve got a marketing tactic that users will easily share with friends and family.

The occasional Facebook post and Twitter update prompting users to craft their own CBO descriptive words seem to be doing the trick for creating buzz. McDonald’s receives both good and bad responses on most of their posts – which is inevitable for powerhouse brands – but does tend to hurt the company’s overall image, especially on their Facebook page.

Negative comments aside, it seems that they are beginning to build some positive attention for CBO as users respond with both their own word creations and their critique of the sandwich in general. Hopefully McDonald’s and their creative marketing team will respond to criticism and encourage suggestions, while maintaining creative use of these word mashups to engage their followers.

As long as they continue to build up multi-faceted and visually innovative forms of promotional marketing, McDonald’s will continue to succeed in the competitive Internet venue of food advertising.