- McDonald's USA has launched Spotlight Dorado, a multiyear platform that seeks to showcase and advocate for Latino talent in Hollywood, according to a press release.
- Through June 3, U.S.-based Latino writers, directors and producers can submit screenplays and stories to SpotlightDorado.com. Three finalists will be awarded a production budget of $75,000 to produce their short films and will receive mentorship from industry leaders. In November, the public will vote for their favorite of the three short films to help pick a grand-prize winner who will be given a yearlong opportunity to work with McDonald's on creative initiatives and campaigns.
- The Spotlight Dorado effort is based on research that despite Latinos representing nearly 20% of the U.S. population, their stories make up less than 1% of those told by Hollywood. The fast food chain last year announced plans to more than double investments in diverse media partners to help improve representation.
With its Spotlight Dorado platform, McDonald's is seeking to improve Latino representation in Hollywood by providing the mentorship, connections and financial support necessary to help close the gap between the percentage of the U.S. population Latinos make up and the percentage of films that tell their stories. The effort — named after the Spanish word for "golden," a nod to the chain's golden arches — comes as the fast food giant continues efforts to invest in diverse media partners and improve representation.
The new platform arrives as McDonald's today announced its Q1 2022 earnings and notched an 11.8% increase in comparable sales globally and a 3.5% lift in the U.S. The chain partially attributed the success in a challenging global environment to its ability to build customer affinity by "identifying relatable fan truths and turning them into remarkable cultural moments" in its marketing, per a press release.
A growing push across the marketing industry for more diverse voices coincides with a bigger focus on culture in marketing as well.
"Spotlight Dorado is representative of our longstanding commitment to feeding and fostering the Hispanic community while amplifying diverse voices. We look forward to seeing Spotlight Dorado resources help bring some very important stories to life for all to experience," Elizabeth Campbell, senior director of cultural engagement for McDonald's USA, said in the press release.
Along with helping three finalists produce their short films, McDonald's will give a grand prize winner a yearlong opportunity to work on its creative initiatives and campaigns, potentially helping in its efforts to improve the diversity and representation in its media. McDonald's last year announced plans to boost the percentage of its national advertising spending that goes to Black-, Hispanic-, Asian Pacific American-, women- and LGBTQ-owned platforms from 4% to 10% by 2024.
McDonald's will provide $75,000 to each finalist, along with mentorship from industry heavyweights including "Encanto" star Stephanie Beatriz and "Blindspotting" director Carlos López Estrada. The short film contest was created alongside industry partners who advocate for Latino talent in film, including Ben Lopez of L21 Consulting and The Hispanic Heritage Foundation.
As part of its push for inclusivity, McDonald's in 2021 launched a multichannel campaign in support of the LGBTQ community and signed a three-year, eight-figure ad deal with multicultural podcasting agency Pod Digital Media. Such pushes for inclusion have increased since protests against racist violence in the summer of 2020, with agencies and brands, including Coca-Cola, General Mills and Mars, increasing spend in diverse media.