Very Cool

Revealing the secrets behind McDonald’s food

In case you haven’t heard, McDonald’s Canada has pulled back the curtain to showcase how their food is made. In a bold attempt at transparency, they are letting real consumers ask any question they like about the food. Instead of the usual corporate B.S. the public is used to getting, they are actually addressing the questions on a dedicated site using videos and real answers. Ever wanted to know how the food looks so perfect, or what’s in the secret sauce? All is being revealed over at McDonald’s Canada Youtube channel and the Your Questions microsite.

“Ever wanted to ask us about the food in our Canadian restaurants?  Now’s your chance! We’ll answer any questions about our food – even  the tough ones – then post a personal reply from McDonald’s® Canada.”

Simple, direct and honest. This is social media at it’s best: opening a two-way dialogue, creating buzz and being super awesome. It’s genius.

In this always connected world where every brand is now under the spotlight, McDonald’s is taking control of their message and showing they have nothing to hide. They have even revealed how to make the secret sauce for the Big Mac.

I must say this is the best advertising campaign I have seen in a long time (and it’s not just because I happen to worship McDonald’s!). The takeaways here aren’t anything new: be open and honest and everything else will fall into place. Many brands just haven’t got that message yet. Social media is helping them understand there is nowhere to hide anymore!

Of course there are critics, this is a billion dollar brand that is known for many controversial issues (pink slime anyone?), but McDonald’s has reacted in a perfect way that resonates with consumers.

The campaign is picking up a ton of momentum, I’ve heard people talking about it on radio, television  and all over the web. News outlets all over the world have picked up on the campaign. This is a viral campaign in every sense of the word: it’s spreading like virus!  Everyone wants to know the secrets behind the biggest fast food chain in the world. Many urban legends and misconceptions have circulated the internet for years, and this is their bold attempt at stopping them in their tracks.

One point of criticism: Users can’t comment on the videos, and while they do show real behind the scenes, they are also very controlled. While very open and honest, key information is being left out of the conversation. Maybe the next video can detail the food additives and manufacturing process of the food before it gets into the store. Either way, at least the world now knows how to make Big Mac sauce.

Great job McDonald’s! Now to head to my kitchen and attempt to see if I can make a Big Mac that is just as good as the restaurant!

How do you feel about this campaign? Do you love it, or hate it? Leave me a comment below and let me know.

Adventures in Hydroponics

I finally have my entire setup for my super-fantastic garden of the future! Using hydroponics technology! Today I made the run to the hydroponics supply store to grab my nutrients, PH tester, rock-wool and lighting for my garden. It was a little sketchy, a lot of people there were obviously not growing tomatoes like I am. Regardless, I’m not here to judge. Hydroponics gets a bad rap because it is used to grow marijuana, the reasoning is that it works. But the same techniques can be used to grow almost every other vegetable. My plan is to grow things I eat in the winter, instead of buying the crappy, overpriced produce from the grocery store. I spend about $100 total for everything, making this weekend project cost a total of about $130 so far. I decided on getting fluorescent grow lights as I’m not looking at turning my whole basement into a hydroponics farm and don’t want to use too much power. I am using the empty closet in my basement, as it already had the rail I am hanging my light from, and a desk to put the garden unit and supplies on top. I’m still learning about all the intricacies of how to make sure I use the right amount of nutrients and light to be successful. Regardless, it’s up and running so well see in a week or so how its going! I’m starting with 8 plants, tomatoes and peppers.

Here’s a fascinating look at how Hydroponic Lettuce is grown:

Warner Brothers Studio Tour London

File this under the best news I’ve heard all day. In Spring 2012, Warner Brothers is opening a tour of the actual movie sets from the making of the 8 Harry Potter films. While this tour is on the Warner Brothers lot in London, they have built two sound stages to house the sets from the film to allow visitors to get the complete experience without tying up the rest of the working studio. Can’t wait to hear more details about this. In the meantime, take a look at the teaser video below and a screenshot of the main site.

Bud Light Lime Comes to Canada!

So excited to find out today that as of May 25, Bud Light Lime will be available in Canada. Apparently fans of the beer petitioned the company to bring the product here after trying it in the U.S. by using Facebook and calling their Stateside headquarters. Amazing what the power of people can do! Anyways, it’s a great summer beer, so a May launch is perfect. Can’t wait to get some!
Bud Light Lime

New True Blood in June!

Today I opened my freshly delivered copy of Entertainment Weekly only to discover a teaser ad for my favorite show ever, True Blood. The ad looks like a blood spill on a black background, but on further investigation is actually a silohette of a woman almost getting bitten by a vampire with copy beneath that reads “Ready for seconds?” I almost died as my excitement is beyond the moon to see Season 2. Anyways, I also found a quick clip from the upcoming season. I think I may rewatch Season 1 if I ever get time. Such a wicked show!

UPDATE!:
Here are three of the ads
Poster 1
Poster 2
Poster 3