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Andy’s Answers: How McDonald’s created worldwide engagement at the Olympics

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Brands & Campaigns

Huge international brands have unique challenges when it comes to delivering timely content across multiple channels. McDonald’s is one of those brands with no shortage of interesting content from wedding packages in Tokyo to the highly anticipated comeback of the McRib. But making that content make sense across 85 websites, more than 80 Facebook pages and 40 Twitter handles internationally was a challenge.

In his presentation at‘s BlogWell conference in Los Angeles, McDonald’s Director of Digital and Social Media Sosti Ropaitis explained how the company overcame this challenge at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Some tips Ropaitis shared for timely international engagement:

  • Draw from your international employees. McDonald’s highlighted its “Best of Our Best,” the employees brought from around the world to the London Olympics, in short videos. They were quick and fun and avoided language and cultural dependencies.
  • Work closely with your legal team. As if making these videos in two days wasn’t difficult enough, the McDonald’s social media team also had to jump through all kinds of legal hoops from rights holders to stringent Olympic regulations. Ropaitis says he cannot stress enough the importance of this partnership.
  • It’s all about context. It’s not only about telling a story but also about telling the right story in the right context. Ropaitis summed up the McDonald’s social media strategy with this formula: Engagement is a function of content, context and timeliness.

You can see Ropaitis’ BlogWell presentation below.

If you like this case study, see more great social media case studies like it live at’s BlogWell conference April 17 in New York.