McDonald’s recently created a platform to celebrate the pride, heritage and achievements of the black community with a cultural initiative named 365Black.
2016 marks the 20th anniversary since Black History Month was first officially celebrated in Canada, yet it continues to attract criticism for confining facts and experiences to only one month in a year.
My cultural experiences, otherwise heard on any given day, but propelled in February, is to navigate a discussion of race, class, and leadership – in hopes that one day black history will become mainstream.
While I commend McDonald’s for creating a corporate social project that goes beyond the month of February, they still managed to offend their own customers by emphasizing negative stereotypes.
In a targeting effort to ‘empower’ people of African descent all year round, they botched a great opportunity; and discredited their own brand with an epic fail of a tweet:
February 4, 2016
— 365Black (@365Black) February 4, 2016
The last time I checked, the tweet still remains on their @365Black Twitter timeline. Perhaps they aren’t aware of their own derogation, perhaps they may blame the error on market segmentation, perhaps they don’t care. A few tweeters have responded directly to their account but no response. [i]
Every Black History Month, I make it a personal goal to get through February without being offended. McDonald’s program started off positive, but wounded our expectation, yet again.
In an attempt to reposition their brand as an improved, culturally sensitive, and budget friendly food choice for dinner – they failed miserably by insinuating that North American blacks are broke, renters, and can’t afford a healthy nutritious meal!
I’m shocked, personally offended, I didn’t ‘make it’ until the end of Feb, and I’m wondering who the heck approved this message?!
This one goes in the LITTER BOX!
[i] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Market_segmentation: Market Segmentation definition: A marketing strategy which involves dividing a broad target market into subsets of consumer… who are perceived to have, common needs, interests, and priorities, and then designing and implementing strategies to target them.