McDonald's Responds to Viral Grimace Trend Taking TikTok by Storm

McDonald's Responds to Viral Grimace Trend Taking TikTok by Storm

News by Roberto OrosaRoberto Orosa
Published: June 29, 2023

Fast-food chain McDonald’s has broken its silence on the fast-growing Grimace Shake trend taking over TikTok.  

Dubbed as the “Grimace Shake Incident,” the TikTok trend involves customers trying out the limited-edition Grimace Birthday Shake, wishing the purple mascot a happy birthday, and cutting to disturbing horror-inspired scenarios where they are seen covered in the purple sludge. 

@kameryn.paige She grimaced out🙀#grimaceshake#grimacesbirthday♬ The Attic - Colin Stetson

As of writing, hashtags #grimaceshake and #grimacebirthday had garnered 790.8 million and 262.8 million views, respectively.  

The fast-food company addressed the Grimace Shake Incident in a tweet, making light of what’s supposedly a trend built off dark humor.  

“meee pretending i don't see the grimace shake trendd,” it wrote. 

The Grimace Birthday Campaign was first revealed by McDonald’s last June 6, changing its display pictures across social media platforms with the iconic character.

The company then announced that it would launch a Grimace-themed birthday meal on June 12, which includes the birthday shake, a choice of 10-piece nuggets or a Big Mac, and McDonald’s World-Famous Fries. 

A day following the release, TikTok user Austin Frazier (@thefrazmaz) posted a video trying the shake, now considered as the video that started the Grimace craze. Thousands of users have since followed. 

Even before the trend began, McDonald’s Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer Tariq Hassan already called Grimace’s Birthday a successful “brand awakening.”  

Tariq explained in an interview the brand’s strategy behind the campaign.   

“What we’re doing is we’re tapping in and understanding that fan relationship, and then we’re wrapping the executions around things that have a little more universal appeal,” he explained.  

“So that Happy Meal experience, no matter what generation you were, you understood it and you related to it.”

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