McDonald's

One of radio’s most consistent national advertisers is changing its approach to reach African-American consumers. McDonald's is unveiling "Black & Positively Golden," which it calls the biggest overhaul to the restaurant chain's targeted marketing in 16 years—an effort so broad it isn't calling it a campaign, but rather "a campaign movement."

“The updated marketing and community outreach shows how (McDonald’s) aims to deepen its ties with African-American customers, particularly Millennials,” reports Advertising Age. A spokeswoman told the trade magazine that it is "one of our biggest priorities of this year."

Lizette Williams, McDonald's USA's head of cultural engagement and experiences, adds, "What we've done is refresh the approach to the engagement in order to be more resonant with the African-American consumer today,” with a focus on stories of truth, power and pride and a celebration of black excellence. Black & Positively Golden replaces a 365Black platform that McDonald's began using in 2003.

The initiative launches with a 60-second spot set to air twice during the March 30 broadcast of the 50th Annual NAACP Image Awards, designed to have a documentary or "fly on the wall" feel, McDonald’s says. It features a Black Marine and feel-good moments such as a woman receiving a giant check for a $10,000 college scholarship from the brand. McDonald's will also give out a Black & Positively Golden award during the Image Awards telecast, the first time it has had a branded award.

Radio ads are part of the push, as is a social media campaign via a new Instagram channel, @wearegolden, and print ads in Essence. For the week of March 11-17, according to Media Monitors, McDonald’s was the No. 5 advertiser over the radio airwaves. For all of 2018, it was the No. 8 national advertiser.

Sales at the chain rose 2.5% last year, despite a 2.2% decline in visits to those locations, according to Ad Age.