McDonald’s revives McRib brand after 12-year absence

McDonald’s has revived its McRib sandwich 12 years after it was yanked from menus in the UK following 20,000 pleas on social media for it to return.

The fast food maker is celebrating the menu item’s reinstatement with a nationwide push from today (31 December) spanning several channels including its 1,200 stores.

A mockumentary supports the launch, playing on the McRib’s famously rabid fans. Devotees are shown recounting the first time they ate the sandwich, which moves some to tears and others to produce works of art. The creative is backed by the #theMcRibisback hashtag with McDonald’s hoping to galvanise those tens of thousands of fans who demanded its return.

The McRib will remain on sale for a five-week period ending 3 February with the restaurant hopeful the popular sandwich can prop sales in a period where many people opt for healthier choices as part of their new year’s resolutions. Some industry observers regard the product as McDonald’s secret weapon, particularly in the US, where it has introduced the product at seemingly random points in its year-round calendar.

The McRib’s return is the latest example of the company’s social media engagement strategy, which aims to use channels such as Twitter and Facebook to better monitor how customers are responding to its menus. In the US, this has seen the business look set up Facebook pages for individual restaurants, while in the UK it has been bolstering Twitter’s influence in its communications after launching on the site earlier this year.

The social media push feeds into McDonald’s wider digital drive as it looks to reverse declining sales and return to what it has said is “better quality” marketing. Sales have suffered over the last two years as a result of millennials increasingly opting for players such as Nando’s and Subway, which have carved propositions around pop-culture and personalisation respectively to ensure they are top of mind.

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