Universal Pictures chose an unusual, faintly dystopian thing to brag about SXSW this week - bespoke trailer for different races.
The studio’s Marketing chief Doug Neil and Facebook's head of entertainment Jim Underwood discussed their partnership for Straight Outta Compton, and the success of their race-specific marketing.
According to The Verge (via Business Insider), one version of the trailer didn’t mention the rap group at the heart of the film and instead focused on the rise of Ice and Cube and Dr. Dre, while the other confidently opened with the letters ’N.W.A’.
"They connected to Ice Cube as an actor and Dr. Dre as the face of Beats," Neil said, referring to the “general population” by which he meant non-African American and non-Hispanic would-be viewers, suggesting other races weren’t so up on their rap history.
The trailer cut for a black audience was worked on by Universal’s "multicultural team", he explained.
Facebook doesn’t allow users to identify their race, so these delineated audiences were presumably ascertained/estimated through people’s Likes.