Ethnic Minority Marketing Strategy of Term Paper

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Lastly, there are also rather small communities of: Turkish, Greek, Arabic, and Jewish

Marketing to ethnic minorities," n.d.).

As Larry Light, McDonald's executive vice president and global chief marketing officer, noted at a speech to the Association of National Advertisers Annual Conference, in 2004, "Mass marketing is a mass mistake" (cited "Multichannel," 2005). What Light understood is that only through multidimensional, multi-segment marketing can organizations hope to compete in an ever diversifying world.

Ethnic minority marketing is not a new concept for McDonald's (Cebrzynski, 1998). It has utilized highly targeted advertising and marketing communications in the past, with great success. This has led the company to its global success, with a ranking, by Interbrand, as the 7th most powerful brand in the world. One way the company has accomplished this is with their unique form of ethnic minority marketing in the form of 'brand journalism' ("Multichannel," 2005). In fact, one of McDonald's first ethnic minority marketing campaigns occurred in 1973, in the United States. The 60-second commercial was titled "Daddy's Home." This musical narrative featured a hard-working Black father that never missed his Saturday appointment, at McDonald's, with his young son. The commercial was so revolutionary, as it was targeted specifically to Blacks, it now resides in the Smithsonian Institute, in Washington D.C. (Landry, 2006).

McDonald's brand journalism involves telling stories to consumers. Each different story is directed at a variety of demographic groups. Using a variety of media, each story also reinforces McDonald's single brand image, while addressing the cultural concerns of the ethnic minorities they are targeting. In addition to targeting differing age and life status demographics, the company has also targeted a variety of ethnic minorities as well, forming connections between the brand and people's lives. Much of their marketing power has come from the company's ability to simultaneously target multiple genders, ages and ethnic minorities ("Multichannel," 2005).

McDonald's is also not afraid to take risks, going beyond the traditional means of marketing, including signage and literature in multiple languages, in today's rapidly changing, high tech world.

Targeting the global Latino population, the company developed a bilingual Internet site focusing on Latino music ( addition, an Internet site dedicated to Asians and Pacific Islanders was developed as well ("Multichannel," 2005).

All-in-all, the corporation strives to reach out to their ethnic minority consumers, expressing that they not only desire them as a customer, but also that they're sensitive to their unique cultural needs and desires.

Kraus (2001) points out this commitment to reaching out to new demographics is one of the keys to McDonald's success. McDonald's investment in Pret a Mange, a total of 33% ownership, is an example. With Pret's typical demographic of the urban sophisticate, McDonald's reached out to this new segment. This commitment to incremental growth and market value demonstrates how McDonald's stretches itself for these sometimes difficult to reach consumers, including ethnic minorities.

The two largest ethnic minority groups in the United Kingdom are those of Asian decent and those of Afro-Caribbean decent (MacDonald, Tanner, Wheeler, 2001). To facilitate their ethnic minorities marketing strategies, McDonald's utilizes a variety of media channels. There are currently more than 15 south Asian satellite televisions, in the United Kingdom.

In addition, there are 6 24-hour a day commercial Asian Radio Stations. and, lastly, there are 13 newspapers or periodicals devoted to Chinese minorities in the United Kingdom. In contrast, there are only 3 Black channels, as well as 3 newspapers.

There are 5 lifestyle magazines, catering specifically to Blacks in the UK, as well ("Marketing to ethnics," n.d.). These media outlets are key to McDonald's getting their ethnic minority campaigns in front of their target market segment.

Of course, not all ethnic minority marketing campaigns for McDonald's have been so well received. Last summer, Hugo was introduced. This 42-ounce, (1.25 L) soft drink included more than 400 calories when filled with a consumer's favorite sugary fizzy drink. The advertising for Hugo was conducted in several languages, and as such, critics accused the company of specifically targeting the low-cost, calorie-heavy cup to minorities ("Supersized," 2007).


In the end, the growing ethnic minority population in the United Kingdom is a significant market segment. Organizations that ignore this segment, do so at the risk of losing their competitiveness in the marketplace. As such, McDonald's has utilized ethnic minority marketing strategies to help bolster stagnant sales. Culturally sensitive marketing not only allows the ethnic consumer to understand that McDonald's desires them as a customer, but also builds trust in the organization that they understand the ethnic consumer's unique needs and desires.


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Krauss, M. 21 May 2001, "After the dot-com crash, marketing isn't easier," Marketing News vol. 35, no. 11, pp. 8-9.

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