Friday, July 9, 2010

Ethnic Marketing: McDonald's Is Lovin' It

By Burt Helm

The music industry has long sold black culture to white Americans. Now McDonald's (MCD) is doing much the same. It's taking cues from African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians to develop menus and advertising in the hopes of encouraging middle-class Caucasians to buy smoothies and snack wraps as avidly as they consume hip-hop and rock 'n' roll.

"The ethnic consumer tends to set trends," says Neil Golden, McDonald's U.S. chief marketing officer. "So they help set the tone for how we enter the marketplace." Golden says preferences gleaned from minority consumers shape McDonald's menu and ad choices, which are then marketed to all customers.

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