Madison Avenue Targets Blacks: Gabby Douglas And Mae Jemison Tapped For Major Campaigns

April 29, 2013  |  


Are things changing in the advertising world? Just last year many complained of the lack of advertising targeting the African-American community. Now comes news that two new major campaigns have hired black women as spokespeople, reports Target Market News.

Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas has been tapped by McDonald’s to promote its newest menu addition — the egg-white breakfast sandwich, an addition that aims to counter some of the healthy eating complaints the company has come up against. Rather than being featured in ads, Douglas will promote the new breakfast item at the restaurant chain’s events. (Total aside, Gabby’s on TODAY this morning talking about her new book and getting back to the gym.)

By utilizing Douglas, McDonald’s also hopes to increase spending by blacks at the chain. According to The Buying Power of Black America, of the $22.4 billion all black households spent eating out in 2011, more than 11% ($2.6 billion) was spent on breakfast meals. This was an increase of 9% from 2010.

Photo: Denver Louis

And home furnishings giant Simmons Bedding Company has hired Dr. Mae Jemison, the first African-American female astronaut, to be part of a major forthcoming ad campaign. We recently spoke with Jemison at SXSW about leading the 100 Year Starship project , which will focus on sending and sustaining humans in interstellar space travel within the next 100 years.

Jemison may seem like an odd choice for a mattress company, but the campaign will mark the first national television advertising endeavor for a line of bedding, the Comforpedic line from Beautyrest, a “memory foam” bed for “those in the know,” Target Market News says.

According to Target Market News, it is a smart move for the company to use Jemison. Once again quoting the Buying Power of Black America report, black homes spent $4.6 billion on furniture in 2011, with $846 million spent on mattresses and box springs.

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