Sometimes a brand does a great gesture for the community. Sometimes a it makes a great advert. Oftentimes it uses that great gesture as the advert itself.
What McDonalds does is unique. It makes the great advert and then does something great for the community - with the philanthropy not getting much attention, at all. That's what makes McDonalds unique; it cares for the community and shows it to the stakeholders that matter - the people themselves.
And it's not just a corporate initiative. Every franchisee believes in their community too - by design. They've been taught the values and McDonalds encourages them to go out a support in their communities directly. From a marketing perspective, choosing franchisees that embody your core values so naturally and contextually represent them in diverse communities is the recipe for building an international franchise brand. And of course, McDonalds has got its ingredients down to a science.
For decades, Platinum Sound Marching Band has been a staple at Shaw University, one of the oldest Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in the nation. Its longstanding legacy of entertaining crowds through elite musicianship and showmanship brought it to the attention of McDonalds who wanted to celebrate their merit in a national McDonald’s commercial. Through the lens of current Platinum Sound member, Dave Walters, Jr. and his mother, a musician and Shaw alumna, the spot highlighted the local McDonald’s restaurant’s role as a familiar gathering place for Shaw students across generations.
Like the student union…but with fries
While filming, McDonald’s was inspired by Platinum Sound’s commitment to excellence and the University’s unwavering efforts to support these students artistically, academically and financially.
“While I attended an HBCU, it was eye-opening to see the amount of hard work, dedication and resources it takes for a marching band to perform and operate on such a high level,” said Deborah Holder, a McDonald’s Owner/Operator in North Carolina and East Coast Second Vice President of the National Black McDonald’s Operators Association. “As part of the Raleigh and HBCU community, we are committed to ensuring future leaders such as these talented musicians have the tools they need to succeed.”
Shortly after leaving campus and moved, the brand awarded the musicians a grant of $100,000
To support Platinum Sound’s tradition of bringing joy to sports fans and the local community, McDonald’s USA and its local Owner/Operators surprised the Band with a $100,000 grant on during the University’s Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association Tournament (CIAA) send-off ceremony.
This grant is beyond anything we could have imagined. It means everything to these students who grind day in and day out to bring energy and excitement to others to get so much love and support back from McDonald’s and the community - Andrae King, Director and former member of Platinum Sound