That McDonald’s ‘Pay It With Lovin’ Campaign Is Already Backfiring

As you’re probably aware, McDonald’s ran their new “Pay it with Lovin'” campaign during the Super Bowl, claiming that between February 3rd and 14th, McDonald’s employees will be targeting random strangers and giving the option to perform an act of kindness to pay for their meal. How philanthropic of them!

Of course, the campaign has the potential for awkward — if not disastrous — results. Not everyone is super close with their family. And not everyone has living family members.

Case in point, this story on Reddit’s TIFU. As with all TIFU stories, we have no way of knowing if it’s actually true. But true or not, it’s currently trending on Reddit’s homepage, so if it’s an elaborate lie to make McDonald’s look bad — it’s a particularly effective one. Here’s the story in full (with typos corrected):

As many of you might know McDonalds is doing the promotion of paying with love, I happened to be one of the lucky “winners” of this promotion. It was great a $15 Mckey’D’s food binge for free, man I couldn’t believe my luck! They said all I had to do is call a family member and tell them “I love you”.

The start of the f*ck up is calling my mother who knows that I had a breif history with depression and suicidal thoughts from high school bullies, the second f*ck up is starting the call with I love you.

She immediately started to freak out (mostly because I’m over 1000 miles away from her and the closest family is about 300 miles away from me) and was pretty scared that I was about to commit suicide. Over the course of the next 15 minutes I was on the phone reassuring her that I indeed wasn’t about to kill myself and make sure that she wasn’t on the next plane to arrive and come to visit. (Afterwards she also mentioned that it had given her a small asthma attack, but nothing her inhaler couldn’t handle.)

Overall it wasn’t the worst thing that has happened, and the McDucks manager that was helping me thought it was so funny she paid for the other guys meal I was with along with handing me a handful of free sandwich coupons because it was the best laugh she has had at this job.

So in the end, everyone had a good laugh and nobody actually died. A marketing success story if I’ve ever heard one!