McDonald’s ‘HealthyGate’ Surprisingly Doesn’t Inspire Much Snarky Fun on Twitter

Subway and Domino's make tepid plays, but healthier fast-food brands aren't biting

Headshot of Christopher Heine

One would think the revelation that McDonald's had been advising its employees to avoid many of the items the quick-serve chain offers would inspire purveyors of healthier foods to jump at the obvious marketing opportunity at hand. But so far on Twitter, consumers who click on a #McDonalds hashtag or search for the brand on the social site are being only fed Promoted Tweet ads from Domino's Pizza and Subway.

And in both cases—despite Subway's longstanding play as a dieting option—the food being pitched doesn't exactly conjure images of folks tightening their belts. (Scroll down a bit for examples.) It's a little bit surprising that more health-minded fast-food competitors like Au Bon Pain or frozen yogurt chains such as Pinkberry or Mango haven't jumped at the chance to get topical on Twitter.

It would seem like the perfect opportunity to have a little snarky Promoted Tweet copy fun while enduring little risk of offending anyone. Even Golden Arches fans must be chuckling over the eat-healthy-gate scenario that's unfolded, with McDonald's pulling down a Website that was advising employees to take it easy with fried food generally, as well as bacon, cheese and mayonnaise—items that have long been part of the brand's DNA. (That said, it needs to be noted that Mickey D's in recent years has been increasingly offering healthier items, such as egg whites for breakfast.)

But as can be seen below, the competitive plays (all examples are McDonald's-targeted Promoted Tweets) so far have been limited and rather tepid.

@Chris_Heine Christopher Heine is a New York-based editor and writer.
Publish date: December 27, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT