Tech & Science

McDonald’s Grimace shake prompts eerie TikTok trend

A bright purple hue, a memeable mascot, and a limited availability period, McDonald’s had all the ingredients to turn the Grimas Milkshake into a viral sensation.

What the company probably didn’t mean was that Shake would succeed if TikTok users pretended to be dead.

Since the Grimmas Shake debuted earlier this month, TikTok users have excitedly ordered the shake, which was launched to mark the “birthday” of McDonald’s character Grimmas, and drank a purple drink before posing on camera. I pretended to die. They often sprinkle shakes on their jerking bodies, apparently signaling that Grimath, Ronald McDonald’s clumsy best friend, has killed them.

McDonald’s probably hoped for success with the virus, if not in a way that prevented fake deaths. The TikTok video has been viewed millions of times this month, drawing attention to McDonald’s latest culinary strategy, even if users suddenly spew it out later.

Matthew Prince, an adjunct professor of social media and influencer marketing at Chapman University in California, said, “What may appear to be a negative statement is actually a positive reflection of their ability to connect with their generation. There are.” “As views increase, laughter ensues, and viral trends grow, so does sales.”

Purple shake is the latest attempt at viral food

McDonald’s launched the Grimmas Shake on June 12, apparently on Grimmas’ birthday. (Reports say Grimas is 52 years old.) Grimas himself hijacked the company’s social media accounts to announce the reward.

The development seemed in line with McDonald’s other recent marketing plans to build cultural credibility and capitalize on virality. The restaurant has collaborated with musicians such as J Balvin and Travis Scott on celebrities’ favorite dishes, and partnered with buzzy streetwear brand Cactus Plant Flea Market to offer adult-inspired treats, including everyone’s favorite purple blob mold. We have released a limited collectible Happy Meal toy for.

Even before collectors resold limited-edition designer toys, McDonald’s has taken advantage of scarcity and limited availability. Their Shamrock Shakes and McRibs, which are often only available for a few weeks each year, have become cult favorites.

But the Grimace Shake has become more infamous than loved. In the quintessential “Grimmas Shake” TikTok, the enthusiastic young man holds up a Grimmas Shake and wishes a happy birthday to the big purple mascot before taking his first sip. Cut: A dying TikToker spreads out in a puddle of purple liquid. Sometimes you’ll find yourself playing dead in abandoned buildings, dark streets, or covered with McDonald’s signs. Sometimes it even appears to vomit purple before ‘succumbing’ to death from the tremors.

Grimace has a history of villains

Grimace hasn’t always been a happy, lucky amorphous creature. According to Food & Wine magazine, when he was first introduced in the 1970s, commercials referred to him as an “evil grimace.” He’s a four-armed purple blob who uses his many limbs to drink milkshakes and run away. But even in those commercials, this bumbling thief never poisoned or murdered a nuisance.

The head of advertising realized that the frown frightened young potential consumers, so he softened the character, removed “evil” from the description, and cut off one set of his arms. Soon, the benevolent Grimath was little more than a triangular chunk of Donald McDonald’s group of fast food enthusiasts, with the villainous Hamburgler taking Grimath’s former role.

But McDonald’s still doesn’t know exactly who Mr. Grimas is. In 2014, the company’s corporate Twitter account told fans, following the character’s lore, “He’s either a milkshake or a taste bud incarnate.”

The ambiguity surrounding Grimace and his heinous past seems to make him a template for meme-making.

How the Grimace Shake Gamble Succeeded

By offering novel menu items in photogenic purple and tagged with infamous characters, McDonald’s has menu items designed to elicit a fiery response. In 2018, CNN cited Taco Bell’s Doritos Locos tacos (tacos in Dorito-flavored hard shells) as “Frankenfood,” or strange, limited-edition foods that expand the definition of “edible.” He reported that he often succeeds at food stores. ) and Burger King’s Waperito (a tortilla-wrapped hamburger) are two of his popular food mashups that have generated buzz and attention from consumers.

The Grimas Shake is a tad more subdued than those offerings, but since it’s a berry-flavored milkshake, it’s more like Heinz’s green ketchup than nauseating mustard-flavoured ice cream, but it’s still a gamble. It seems to have worked, as the hashtags #grimaceshake and #grimace had amassed more than 640 million and 750 million views respectively on TikTok by Wednesday afternoon.

Its unconventional success befits an unconventional product. “What looks like a strange viral strategy to some is just good brand engagement that reflects a younger generation,” Chapman University professor Prince told CNN. The Grimace Shake somehow speaks to the humor and cultural interest of Gen Z, he says.

Asked for comment, McDonald’s told CNN that it quoted Grumpy’s tweet, “I’m turning a blind eye to the frown shake trend,” and a photo of himself in purple with frowns.

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