There is a story floating around the Internets that BMW has issued a “non urban dictate” for all advertising for the new line of Mini Coopers, which BMW makes. A “non urban dictate” is when companies don’t spend advertising dollars on media dedicated to people of color. Normally, you wouldn’t catch me printing up t-shirts or getting my marching shoes on, but I might say that a move like this was prejudiced on its face. But now, having worked a lil bit in marketing as a young bleed, I have to stop and think…. do I know any people of color who drive Mini Coopers? Have I ever SEEN a person of color in a Mini Cooper?
The answer is no, I haven’t.
I’m willing to bet that market research indicates that black folks aren’t checking for Minis all like that.
Black folks generally like thier cars and trucks big, gaudy and overpriced. For people of color, the size and price of cars signify some illusion of affluence and self-importance. A Mini Cooper is not the kind of vehicle Alpha males and strong black women drive. They all drive Hummers. Or Chrysler 300s. No way black folks are checking for a fuel-efficient, under-stated gem like the Mini. Maybe BMW is racist, but this is not the best example of thier racism I’ve seen come down the pike. This occurs to me less as racism and more like judicious use of ad dollars in a recession. Everything isn’t a plot by the white man to keep the black man down…. is it?
What do you think?
Is BMW’s “non urban dictate” racist?