Brand Failure | Burger King’s The Crispy Chicken Song: Marketing to Multicultural Consumers Isn’t Rocket Science
I’ve seen it all the time…failed attempts at marketing to multicultural consumer segments with mass efforts using general market insights. These marketers seem to think that if you stick a Hispanic or African-American face in the messaging or ad that it’s a home run when the truth is that penetrating these demographic segments means so much more than “looking” like them. Take it from Michael Steele and his attempts to reinvent the GOP with a Hip Hop and pop culture makeover– it’s an epic fail.
What multicultural consumers want most from a brand or organization is to believe that their lifestyle and culture is understood. They want to know that you’ve invested enough time and resources into understanding what matters most to them and that there’s genuine interest in them as a consumer. The worst way to lose multicultural consumers is to blatantly show that you don’t get them or their cultural nuances.
Burger King learned the hard truth when their attempt to be hip and cool by featuring 9x Grammy award winner R&B artist Mary J. Blige in an ad signing “The Crispy Chicken Song” came off as somewhat racist and stereotypical and offended African-Americans.