McDonald’s has closed down a youth-focused YouTube campaign, dubbed “Channel Us”, after failing to generate enough interest.
McDonald's Channel Us Trailer from Drum on Vimeo.
The move puts into question the effect of so-called “influencer marketing” as a way to engage younger consumers.
McDonald’s launched Channel Us in September 2015 in a move that it described at the time as “a ground-breaking moment for McDonald’s in the UK”.
The fast food chain enlisted UKvloggers Gabriella Lindley and Oli White to host the show and the channel posted a series of “how to” videos for a year.
However, none of the nine films posted in 2016 managing to hit 1,000 views, McDonald’s closed the channel down to move on to other campaigns.
Speaking to The Drum, Ben Fox, Head of Media and Customer Engagement at McDonald’s, said: “We have learnt that content is really difficult and content with purpose is really important,” he said. “Like a lot of brands, it is a challenge for us and we are looking at a lot of different ways we can pull people towards our brand to build affinity with other audiences.”
He described making content that people want to see as an “inherent challenge”, adding: “We have learnt a lot about what works and what doesn’t and we will be applying that to all of our content moving forward. It is very difficult to name brands that have been successful in that space but it doesn’t mean we aren’t going to keep trying and see what works for us and what doesn’t.”
While the project failed for McDonalds, some other top brands have achieved success with the platform.
Pepsi Max, for example, has gained 120,000 subscribers to its YouTube channel despite posting only 67 videos over three years, while Red Bull’s channel includes videos that Campaign described as “consistently on-brand for the energy drink”.