McDonald’s ‘Nasi Lemak’ burger wins Singapore National Day social media showdown

McDonald’s Singapore-inspired food menu campaign racked up the highest level of social-media buzz on Twitter and Facebook in the run up to Singapore’s 52nd birthday, according to data released by intelligence firm Meltwater.

The menu, which memorably featured a Nasi Lemak burger and a Chendol McFlurry, gained more than 10,000 social mentions from its launch day on July 13 until August 7. Mentions of McDonald’s keywords peaked towards the end of July when the burgers sold-out, according to Meltwater.

Meanwhile, Sushi chain Maki-San drew flak online for naming a sushi roll ‘Maki Kita’, a play on the lyrics of Singapore’s national anthem. Unfortunately for the sushi chain, in Malay the word ‘Maki’ means to curse or insult.

Research showed that the campaign drew 79 social mentions, with 38 per cent of those being negative, 43 per cent neutral and just 19 per cent positive. The brand subsequently apologised.

Retailer Giordano drew the sharpest reaction for releasing an ad featuring a family of three Caucasians and an Asian girl, meaning 84 per cent of its brand mentions on social media were negative. 

At the same time, StarHub’s campaign divided Singapore citizens due to its usage of Martin Luther King Jr’s renowned ‘I have a dream’ speech. While 37 per cent of the sentiment was positive, 59 per cent of social buzz was negative, said Meltwater.

“National Day is an important time for brands to unleash ads, hoping to grab a share of consumers’ spend. From our analysis this year, it is clear that the brands that stood out positively are the ones that were celebratory, did something unique, but weren’t over-the-top patriotic,” said Mimrah Mahmood, regional director of enterprise sales at Meltwater.


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