Skip to content

Competitions and Compromises Abound – But Which Brands Are Winning?

This week, McDonald’s searches for besties on Twitter, Heinz wants to end a long-standing food feud, and new competitors are taking to the field of sports content marketing.

Let the games begin.

McDonald’s rewards its besties on Twitter

The No. 1 fast-food chain launched its new customer loyalty program – MyMcDonald’s Rewards – this week. It came as an interactive tweet aka “invitation” to evaluate its Twitter friendship with the recipient (aka tweet viewer). McDonald’s said it would “scan” their relationship if the person liked the tweet to see whether they had the special sauce to make it on McD’s BFF list.

Not surprisingly, you are BFFs even if you have only liked one McDonald’s tweet. As a reward, you get 1,500 loyalty points once you provide an email address and Twitter handle.

.@McDonalds measures brand friendship by the tweet, but takes its time serving up rewards. @CMIContent says the delay is letting its loyal #ContentMarketing relationships grow cold and stale. #WeeklyWrap Share on X

WHY IT MATTERS: McDonald’s didn’t just say “like this tweet” and we’ll DM a prize link to you. No, it piqued the viewer’s curiosity as to how they would assess their friend status and why they cared at all. By responding with a personalized tweet (addressed to the Twitter handle with their total number of likes to McDonald’s tweets), McDonald’s took that engagement to the next level.

We’re only wondering why the points reward will take as long as three weeks to take effect. Once you prime your audience to interact with your brand, you better be ready to deliver while their attention is still fresh and hot.

Can Heinz finally get the hot dog/bun math to add up?

Maker of ketchup, mustard, and relish, Heinz is fed up with a long-running food feud. Like many other Americans, the brand has grown frustrated with the divisiveness created by manufacturers of hot dogs (10 to a package) and hot dog buns (eight to a package).

It created the Heinz Hot Dog Pact and is asking consumers to sign a petition at “We’re calling on Big Bun and Big Wiener companies to find the answer to this hot dog packaging mismatch, once and for all.”

When The Late Show’s Stephen Colbert championed the news, Oscar Mayer, another member of the Kraft Heinz family, took to Twitter with a new idea – if it could get 5,700 retweets, it would sell a two-bun package.

WHY IT MATTERS: Heinz took on a common complaint – and a favorite observation by comedians – and created a bigger conversation around it. It’s a fun play because Heinz doesn’t have any direct bite in the business of making hot dogs or buns, though its parent brand does. That relative neutrality lets the condiment maker go all in with their customers on the topic.

.@heinztweets rekindles the bun-vs.-hot-dog controversy with a tasty #ContentMarketing conversation. But fans are failing to take a bite of the action via @CMIContent. #WeeklyWrap Share on X

But Heinz hasn’t found a huge response. A few weeks later, the petition is about 4,000 signers short of its 35,000 goal. Though, we must say, the petition is ambiguous, only saying it would let hot dog and bun makers know. And 10 days after the tweet promising a two-bun package, it’s received fewer than half the retweets to get to the goal. We look forward to seeing how Heinz responds if the audience doesn’t savor the opportunity to participate.

Both B2C and B2B brands step up to plate

With the 2021 Summer Olympic games now upon us, B2C brands once again are connecting sports, athletes, and the spirit of global competition to their products and services.

Skincare company SK-II created an animated series called “VS.” It features Olympic athletes, from gymnast Simone Biles to surfer Mahina Maeda, and issues a message to viewers that every woman has the power to #ChangeDestiny.

Yet, B2B brands are getting active in the sports scene, too, this year. Olympics sponsors Intel, Dow Chemical, Atos, GE, and Allianz all have major B2B divisions. As Kenneth Hein writes in The Drum, B2B companies use sports “to tell their often complex stories in a more simplified, relatable way.”

WHY IT MATTERS: If you’re a B2C brand, an Olympics sponsorship is a great opportunity to harness content marketing. Gone are the days of slapping the Olympics logo on your advertising and marketing. Now, it’s more about creating great narratives around your message and mission, not your products or services.

B2B brands are taking up the @Olympics marketing torch as a play to make their complex stories more relatable. @CMIContent says it’s a great time for them to go for the #ContentMarketing gold. #WeeklyWrap Share on X

If you’re a B2B brand, the Olympics is a great reminder that sports can be a helpful way to better explain your business, and more importantly, to help your audience understand your business.

Intrigued, puzzled, or surprised by an example, news, or something else in content marketing? Share it with us by completing this form. Your submission may be featured in an upcoming Weekly Wrap.

Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute