Tuesday, January 5, 2010
AiAA: McDonald's – Dollar Van Demos
Despite the overwhelming acceptance and embrace of hip hop culture worldwide, the genre is still an awkward marketing conundrum for Madison Avenue. It's been a quarter-century since rap music really hit the mainstream and big business could be forgiven for their initial exploitative attempts to cash in on the "fad". I mean, really, who could stay mad at this:
Celebrity endorsements were inevitable and by the early 1990s, corporate America anointed MC Hammer as the next non-threatening Negro pitchman of the minute. Rap music, however, was still in its relative infancy as a hot commodity. Consequently, the inherent fluidity of the genre's popular themes and subject matter meant that the shelf life of yesterday's multi-platinum act lasted only as long as it took some other guy to rap about a "G Thang" or wear a shiny suit or afford an Auto-Tune.
In the case of Hammer, by the time his 30-second fast food spots were rolled out, the national Hammer backlash was in full swing. It's been nearly 20 years and I'm still mad at this:
And, so it goes.
McDonald's has been airing a new commercial during Sunday NFL games and popular primetime telecasts. Sadly, Mickey D's still doesn't get it. While I applaud the spirit behind the ad campaign, the execution is abysmal.
Who is McDonald's audience here? If it's African-Americans…trust me: most of us can appreciate pandering when we see it. If it's poor Black folk…I read, wrote about and discussed the alarming attraction of low-income minorities to the fast food industry in the mid-1990s while I was in college. I'm going to guess that a complete societal reversal has not yet occurred.
And, if the target audience is supposed to be fans of underground rap and the genre's roots, then Joya Bravo sold it all out for a dollar (menu). But, based on her look and flow, that might be enough to buy the rest of her J.J. Fad starter kit off lay-a-way.