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 McDonald’s is leveraging its long-standing relationship with the black community. But black millennials moved to McDonald’s and made them understand that with today’s millennial consumers, content marketing and community relations go hand-in-hand. 

Back in 2003, McDonald’s launched a “365 Black” initiative, which was a campaign to support black culture and community all year round. In that year, the millennial cohort was the most diverse generation to date in America. They were between five and 23 years old. Many were already loyal McDonald’s consumers. 

But recently McDonald’s announced the launch of their largest African-American-focused campaign since the “365 Black” initiative, “Black & Positively Golden.” Many of the black millennials who grew up with the previous initiative are now parents themselves and the fast-food landscape has changed dramatically.  

Multicultural consumers are spending their dollars with companies that invest in their culture, not simply market to it. 

Black & Positively Golden campaign 

McDonald’s is aware of the shift in Black consumer behavior and promises “Black & Positively Golden” is more than an advertising campaign. Created to celebrate a new movement to uplift communities and inspire excellence through education, empowerment, and entrepreneurship. 

 Lizette Williams, Head of Cultural Engagement & Experiences, McDonald’s USA adds: 

“‘Black & Positively Golden’ is more than an ‘advertising campaign;’. This is what we are calling a ‘campaign movement.’ What black millennials can expect is creative messaging and storytelling that is focused on truth, power, and pride. It’s about highlighting positive imagery and telling our stories. Stories focused on education, empowerment, and entrepreneurship, to truly evolve the portrayal of the African-American experience in the media.” 

Williams also insists black millennials were at the core of the campaign design. The company heard their perspective loud and clear. They went through iterations of campaign research for the company.

 “Black & Positively Golden” also includes event activations at the BET Experience, ESSENCE Festival, and the McDonald’s Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour. 

Black & Positively Golden’s campaign movement 

The campaign also has a philanthropic arm. More importantly, promising to provide $60,000 in scholarships to foster educational empowerment among HBCU students. 

In addition, through the “Black & Positively Golden” campaign, McDonald’s also commenced a year-long commitment to the YWCA USA and the organization’s Women’s Empowerment 360 Program, an initiative designed to empower approximately 5,000 women of color who aspire to be entrepreneurs. This directly affects the fastest-growing group of entrepreneurs: Black women. 

Indeed, it was the behavior of black millennial consumers- their desire for brand transparency, authenticity, and commitment — which led to the launch of McDonald’s “Black & Positively Golden” platform.

In short, the campaign promises to use its bandwidth and power to change the story of African-Americans in the U.S. They highlight all things positive and focus on stories of truth while celebrating Black excellence. 

More on how black millennials moved McDonald’s to focus on the black community. 


Black Millennials Moved McDonald’s





Sneha Srinivasan

Sneha Srinivasan is passionate about working motherhood. She’s currently working as an assistant for Christine Michel Carter. Every two weeks, Sneha contributes to the newsletter sharing her best tips on how ambitious women can have rewarding careers AND be badass moms.