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The Mellow Middle

For those of you who have yet to see it, bounce into 365Black …we’ll wait…

In case you missed the underlying message, McDonald’s is targeting African Americans. The social media sphere has ignited with indignation; bloggers, twitterers, and other mighty marketers are blasting the bringer of burgers for segregating, rather than simply speaking to a single audience.

According to those shouting from atop a soapbox, the problem in aiming for one audience alone is separation from, well, everyone else.

As I pondered my own philosophy it occurred to me: McDonald’s doesn’t care what I think; they do however, care about their average consumer.

So I asked 250 Big Mac munching, French Fry fans from our communities their thoughts – they being the actual intended audience and all. Only 15% had popped into the page prior to my prompting; a modest number in comparison to the copious calls of ‘foul’ from the marketing machine that is social media.

What about the other 85%? Naturally, responses ranged.

For some, the move magnified their opinion of McD’s…
“It makes me feel as if they have an enlightened sense of community involvement–I can sincerely appreciate and respect that. In fact, I hope that it’s contagious.”

…while others called for an end to unnecessary blockades between audiences.
“Hmm…I don’t know. I dislike anything that separates one from another, focusing on blackness, rather than focusing on humanness. I know if there was a White365 site it would be seen as racist. So why is Black365 okay?”

But for the strong ends of the spectrum, a considerable center remained – and that’s what matters most. So while marketing types with the time to actually think through these things (see Twitter) may howl at the moon, more than half of our respondents reported the move meant nothing to them, while another quarter were actually inspired.

Despite the bevy of bad press, the average consumer is going to go on worrying about their world, making marketers fiery feedback a moot point, or more accurately, another case of the few presuming to purport thoughts of the many. As for me, I will still be standing in-line once McDonald’s releases their Shamrock Shakes next March.

In preparation for your triumphant walkout for the weekend, we offer you a little noise to help speed your step; now hop on the good foot and skip home!

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