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McDonald’s Pisses Off Ireland with Culturally Inaccurate Shamrock Shake Tweet

Epic fail or genius marketing ploy?

There are a few things that you can count on every spring: your allergies will force you to Google things like "Can humans live without a nose," your ex will slowly snap out of his seasonal depression, and McDonald's will put the Shamrock Shake back on its menu. McDonald's started selling those artificially colored seasonal calories just before St. Patrick's Day 1970—it was actually known as the "St. Patrick's Day Green Milkshake" then—which means that the the company has had 47 years to learn something about Ireland. Based on this week's international McTwitter fail, though, that hasn't happened.


On Tuesday, McDonald's posted a tweet that said "When your Shamrock Chocolate Madness plays all the right chocolatey-mint notes. #ShamrockSeason." That was accompanied by a 10 second video of a bearded ginger sucking his shake through a straw while wearing a vaguely tartan-looking hat, playing the straws like a bagpipe and standing in front of Stonehenge. None of those things are Irish: tartans and bagpipes are Scottish and everyone knows that Stonehenge was built by aliens in an English field.

McDonald's has since deleted the tweet, but not before everyone on the internet noticed—especially the Irish. "No wonder Americans are dumb," one user in Ireland tweeted, while another said "Maybe the rainbow [at the end of the video] might be Irish."

Some users have suggested that creating such a wrong-headed advert was the idea, that if everyone's talking about it—even if they're talking about how stupid it is—they're still talking about McDonald's and its Shamrock Shakes. That isn't impossible to believe in the Age of Alternative Facts, but it's a risky approach to take.

McDonald's hasn't issued an apology or an explanation for their geographical blunder (or for Uncle O'Grimacey). MUNCHIES has reached out to the company for comment.

As dumb as this is, it isn't the most embarrassing thing McDonald's has done in the name of selling a few more green milkshakes. It used to advertise them with a character called Uncle O'Grimacey, a lumpen puppet that looked like a furry green gourd. "I'm paintin' everything green to match me Shamrock shakes," he says in an accent guaranteed to annoy everyone from Clonakilty to Gweedore.