According to claims made at the music and film festival SXSW, Universal Pictures made different ‘Straight Outta Compton’ movie trailers for black and white audiences.
Head of digital marketing for Universal, Doug Neil, told the audience that most white people in the US were not familiar with NWA. Therefore they teamed up with Facebook to customise the trailers.
The companies decided that white audiences were likely to be more aware of who Dr Dre is because of his Beats headphones franchise. Doug added:
The trailer marketed to them on Facebook had no mention of NWA, but sold the movie as a story of the rise of Ice Cube and Dr Dre.
To make such a sweeping generalisation that all white people don’t know who NWA is and all black people do is pretty offensive. And then to use that premise as a marketing tool is even more wrong. Facebook have since come out and said that this is not true. In a statement they said:
Several news outlets have stated that Facebook allows advertisers to target ads based on race. That is not accurate. Facebook does not have a capability for people to self-identify by race or ethnicity on the platform.
How would they even decide which users were black and which were white considering Facebook doesn’t let users identify based on race? Well, apparently the company looks for identifiers such as language preference as well as pages you’ve liked and other actions. That’s how they decide what types of advertisements pop up on your page in general, which is all a bit 1984 and is totally messed up. Seems like in the future we are going to just be soulless computer slaves to Mark Zuckerberg’s empire. Don’t believe me? Just check out this picture that pretty much proves it.