Facebook racial marketing? Different Straight Outta Compton trailer targets races

Choosing a sect depending upon their specific interests is common, but this time the buzz online is about Universal Pictures along with Facebook allegedly targeted users based on their ethnicity.


Facebook is known for its ability to target the right kind of audience profiles. Advertisers continue to innovate based on user behaviour. Choosing a segment based on specific interests is common, but this time around Universal Pictures seems to have taken Facebook targeting a step further – by targeting race!

On its part, Facebook has told TheVerge that the social network doesn't allow identifying people on the basis of race. It turns out that the ads were targeted only from information inferred from user profiles and interests.

Straight Outta Compton is a film by Universal Pictures and is based on a Compton, California based rap group N.W.A (Niggaz Wit Attitudes). Slated for an August release, the film has created trailers for the black, white and hispanic communities. If you have seen trailers for the movie, then it was in all likelihood targeted based on what Facebook gathered from your user profile and determined your race to be. For instance, if you're caucasian, then the trailer reportedly focuses on the rise of Ice Cube and Dr. Dre, without any mention of the rap group.

According to a report by Business Insider, Doug Neil, marketing chief at Universal and Facebook entertainment head Jim Underwood talked about the partnership at SXSW. The reason for this was the ''lack of expertise on rap history', and rather they could connect with Ice Cube and Dr Dre, he said. Moreover, hispanic users were shown a different trailer with Spanish on the screen.

Straight Outta Compton grossed more than $160m (£111m) at the US box office, points out the BBC report. Now, targeted marketing isn't a bad idea and studios creating different trailers for different audiences isn't something new. After all, Star Wars also had a separate Japan-specific trailer.


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