April 13, 2024

The scene on social media is creepy. A body hangs from the trunk of a sedan, dripping purple goo. Another covered a basketball hoop with a netting dyed lavender. A third was talking in the bathtub, his face covered with dull handprints.

The liquid splashed on these images is not blood. This is a purple milkshake from McDonald’s.

Reactions on social media have emerged in recent weeks since McDonald’s introduced the “Ghostface Milkshake” as part of its “Ghostface Birthday Meal,” which featured a purple, blotchy version of the brand’s iconic clown Ronald McDonald. supporting role. The limited-edition drink has become a key ingredient in the TikTok trend, in which users craft horror scenarios in which ghost faces are assassins.

Each video begins with a TikTok user pretending to give an upbeat comment on Douyin. The camera then cuts to a shot of a person soaked in a drink—sometimes looking dead, sometimes a zombie—along with flashing lights and eerie music.

Is McDonald’s worried about people pretending to drown in its products? Or paint one of its mascots as a murderer? Probably not, says Jonah Berger, an associate professor of marketing at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

“It’s free advertising,” he said. “Not only does this increase brand awareness, it also makes the brand cooler among the key demographic of young people.”

McDonald’s acknowledged the trend in a post on Wednesday Tik Tok and Twitter. The company did not respond to a request for comment.

this first video The “For Attention” post was posted on June 13 by Austin Frazier, a 28-year-old social media manager in Knoxville, Tennessee, who has no ties to McDonald’s.While browsing TikTok, he found a video Photo of food blogger Wayne Dang tasting a milkshake.

Inspiration strikes. He drove to McDonald’s and ordered one. He then filmed himself wishing Grimace a happy birthday and taking a sip. Next, lying on the kitchen floor, he instructs his wife to turn the area into a “crime scene” with milkshakes for blood.

“She put a little bit on my mouth and a little bit on the ground,” he said. “I was like, no, you’ve got to throw the whole thing away.” Fraser added that McDonald’s hadn’t contacted him since the trend started. “They owe me a fortune for all the shakes they sell,” he joked.

Many fast-food brands, such as Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos taco and Pizza Hut’s, have rolled out stunts that appear to be designed for social sharing. Hot Dog Stuffed Pizza. In 2020, McDonald’s released a meal in cooperation with Travis Scott, which sparked an Internet boom.

Jared Watson, an assistant professor of marketing at New York University’s Stern School of Business, said Grimace Shake is likely to be another game gaining online attention. The shake’s shocking color and taste, which isn’t defined by the company, has sparked debate.

TikTok users inject their own absurdism. “Part of this trend is rebellious behavior,” Dr. Watson said. “They said we saw what you were doing and we were going to take a completely different direction than you expected.”

Still, they buy the Ghostface milkshake and take at least a sip. Online tasters described the taste as “Fruity Pebbles Cough Syrup” and”Purple, Vanilla and Stomach Pain“.

The shake introduced many young customers to “Ghostface,” a character with a happy or unhappy expression. He appears to be less well-known than his fellow Hamburgers and Mayors, and his identity has remained a mystery since his first appearance in the 1970s. in 2012, the company said Grimace is “the embodiment of the milkshake.”Others believe that ghost faces are a huge taste buds.

Dylan Zitkus, 18, a content creator in Chicago, said he had never heard of Grimace until he saw the TikTok video. He bought a mug of Grimace Shake just to join the trend.

“At first I didn’t want to do it because you have to spread the shake all over your body,” said Mr Zitkus, who says he is lactose intolerant. “It’s cold. It’s unpleasant.”

He said he caved in after seeing other Grimace Shake videos with more than 5 million views.Around 1am, he puts on his white shirt and goes to the park with friends video It didn’t take long to shoot, but it did take a while to clean up.

“My neighbors saw me and asked me, ‘What are you doing?'” Mr Zitkus said. “I suppose it’s a long story.”

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