While it’s safe to assume that many people of many different races went out to see the N.W.A. biopic Straight Outta Compton last year based on the brand alone, ad executives took some interesting measures to be thorough. Doug Neil, Universal Studios’ marketing chief, and Facebook’s head of entertainment Jim Underwood, discussed making different Compton trailers tailored to people of different races. Yes, you read that right.
The reason for the split along racial lines came from an assumption that white audiences (what he calls the “general population”) weren’t as familiar with the California group, but knew founding members Ice Cube and Dr. Dre for their solo ventures: “They connected to Ice Cube as an actor and Dr. Dre as the face of Beats,” Neil said during the panel. This led him and Universal’s “multicultural team” to cut trailers centering solely around Cube and Dre instead of the group at large.
Two other trailers were cut; one catered toward Black people centered around N.W.A.’s rise and another for Latino/Hispanic audiences with Spanish subtitles. It’s hard to tell how significant this targeted marketing technique was on the film’s success, especially since Facebook doesn’t allow users to identify based on race (you only see what you show an interest in through likes, shares, and clicks), but that $200 million gross is still nothing to complain about.
That “general population” trailer is hard to find, but we’d imagine that it looks a little something like this:
[source: Business Insider]