For the month of March, Jack in the Box is taking over McBroken.com, a website that allows people to see whether or not the ice cream machine at their favorite McDonald’s is working. Why, you might ask? Because Jack in the Box wants you to know that it’s there for you to satisfy your midnight sugar cravings – especially when McDonald’s isn’t…
How does McBroken work?
While McBroken initially started as a joke website after a young European software engineer wasn’t able to buy ice cream at his local McDonald’s, the site’s popularity exploded overnight, gaining 10,000 visitors within its first 20 minutes of being online. Updated in real time, the site map is connected to an automated bot that attempts to order ice cream every half hour from each individual McDonald’s location via the mobile app. Then, depending on its availability, the app either will or won’t let you add the ice cream to your cart. That information is then translated into a red, green, or gray dot for each location on the map.
“Don’t get McShammed”
Jack in the Box’s clever decision to take control of the McBroken site this month follows the return of McDonald’s seasonal Shamrock Shake (in honor of St. Patrick’s Day), which is very similar to Jack in the Box’s new Oreo Cookie Mint Shake. By including the locations of Jack in the Boxes across the nation alongside the real-time operating status of the McDonald’s ice cream machines, Jack in the Box seeks to help support sugar-lovers in their time of need by “point[ing] shake-starved citizens to their closest Jack in the Box and get through their McDisappointment” and avoid being “McShammed.”
Ryan Ostrom, Jack in the Box chief marketing officer and executive vice president, recently discussed the company’s bold move to troll the largest fast food chain in the world in an interview with USA Today, stating:
“We’re living our DNA of being a challenger brand by kind of going after the big guns like McDonald’s and showing ‘hey, we created a great product, we have an amazing taste and our machines work.’”
Note: At the time of this article’s publication, 12.17% of the McDonald’s ice cream machines were out of operation.