McDonald’s makes black millennial consumers top priority with extensive ‘campaign movement’

McDonald’s makes black millennial consumers top priority with extensive ‘campaign movement’

Dive Brief:

  • McDonald’s today (March 29) rolled out “Black & Positively Golden,” its most significant campaign marketed to African-American consumers in 16 years, Ad Age reported. The effort replaces the chain’s 365Black initiative introduced in 2003. It will specifically target millennials and has messaging centered on education, empowerment and entrepreneurship.
  • While spending on the campaign — which is being billed as large enough to be a “campaign movement” — was not shared, a spokesperson told Ad Age “Black & Positively Golden” is one of the “biggest priorities” for McDonald’s in 2019. The campaign was developed with Burrell Communications, which also worked on 365Black and has handled McDonald’s marketing to African-Americans dating back to 1972.
  • “Black & Positively Golden” debuts with TV, social media, radio, print and experiential elements, including a new Instagram channel called @wearegolden and ads in Essence magazine. A 60-second spot directed by Joe Ptyka and depicting heartwarming moments, like the gifting of a scholarship fund, will run twice around the 50th Annual NAACP Image Awards on March 30. McDonald’s is also expanding its work with YWCA and investing in the group’s Women’s Empowerment 360 Program focused on entrepreneurship.

Dive Insight:

McDonald’s has recently revamped its marketing to better reflect consumer demands for digital technology and on-the-go convenience, trends that have largely been driven by groups like millennials. With “Black & Positively Golden,” the chain is trying to translate that more modernized approach to its work targeted at African-Americans, who could help further buoy a turnaround plan that’s produced a streak of stronger earnings results over the past several years.

African-Americans are digitally savvy and have the highest smartphone ownership of any demographic, according to Nielsen research, but marketers don’t always properly tailor their campaigns toward the group. They are also forecast to wield a collective buying power of $1.4 trillion by 2020, with millennials, who comprise a quarter of the population, likely to command a sizeable chunk of that spending, a study by Viant Technology found. Viant also said that “people-based” marketing can be a powerful tool in connecting with African-American millennials, in particular.

The media plan for “Black & Positively Golden,” which includes a bigger Instagram presence and messaging centered around empowerment and entrepreneurship, could help McDonald’s capitalize on the opportunity. The news marks another step in the brand’s efforts to support more diversity and inclusion, not just in consumer-facing campaigns, but also internally.

“Black & Positively Golden” is being stewarded in part by Lizette Williams, who joined the company last year as McDonald’s USA’s head of cultural engagement and experiences, a new position focused on fostering stronger multicultural loyalty, according to Ad Age.

Earlier this month, McDonald’s also introduced an initiative called “Better Together: Gender Balance And Diversity” that works to improve women’s representation at all levels of the company and support gender equality in career advancement. The launch of the platform included a pledge to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.