McDonald’s Starts Plant A Tree Movement, Reddit Decides To Help

    August 17, 2011

The power of the Internet can be summed quite nicely with the concept of crowdsourcing. Using the Internet to organize like-minded individuals for a common cause–in this case, McDonald’s and their Plant a Tree movement–has caused many different events and causes to reach a substantial level of viral popularity.

As indicated, to coincide with their tie-in with the Smurfs movie, McDonald’s has started a Plant A Tree movement, one where the company promises to plant up to 100,000 trees every time a code is entered from a pack of Apple Dippers, which are available in McDonald’s line of Happy Meals. In order to enter the code, you have to navigate to the McDonald’s Happy Meal page, one that is currently engulfed with an almost-overwhelming Smurfs theme.

The use of your computer’s mute button is a good escape if a loop of the Smurfs theme proves annoying.

Now for the crowdsourcing aspect of the story. Word of McDonald’s act of charity, one that’s albeit cloaked in a “please buy Smurfs stuff” appeal, hit the Reddit wires, and now, the Reddit community is committed to making sure McDonald’s hits the 100,000 planted trees mark. So much so, in fact, one Reddit user posted a reusable Apple Dippers code for other Reddit users to enter.

For those of you who’d like to contribute, the code is M4JE-3YKW-7L7J, and it was found courtesy of the the SlickDeals forum.

According to one of the Reddit users from an earlier comment, the McDonald’s Plant a Tree count was near the 50,000 mark. The comment was made four hours after the initial link was posted to Reddit, and now, two hours since the 50K mark post, the McDonald’s tree program stands close to 77,000 commitments.

Furthermore, I took a screenshot when I started writing this post, and the count was congruent with the 77K. I’ve since took another screenshot, which is about 30 minutes older than the first one I took. The difference in the count is almost 10,000:

McDonald's and the Power of Reddit

McDonald's and the Power of Reddit

These images act as a perfect example about the power of crowdsourcing. Between the SlickDeals forum, Reddit’s voracious users–so much for them not driving traffic, right, Outbrain?–and other word of mouth resources, it’s almost a given McDonald’s will meet it’s 100,000 tree-planting commitment. The question is, will the Reddit users of the world stick around to see if the fast food king keeps it word?

Crowdsourcing is great for drawing attention to various movements, but the follow-through is just as important, or else these efforts are for naught. With that in mind, I would still encourage you to use the code provided and make sure McDonald’s reaches it’s 100,000 limit.