McDonald's Motown News Review
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McDonald's Motown News Review

Culminating a month-long Black History Month marketing promotion, the Motown News Review - Live in Studio A was a reception-style event held at the Motown Historical Museum – the original Motown Records recording studio.

Paul Holmes

 

Culminating a month-long Black History Month marketing promotion, the Motown News Review - Live in Studio A was a reception-style event held at the Motown Historical Museum – the original Motown Records recording studio.  The event was billed as an opening night premier celebration with Detroit’s news anchors lip-syncing and singing karaoke to their favorite Motown.

OPPORTUNITY

McDonald’s of Detroit needed a big, splashy wrap-up celebration to top off a month-long Black History Month promotion and fundraising partnership with the Motown Historical Museum and WMXD, The Mix 92.3. During the month of February, participating AACM McDonald’s donated 15-cents for each Big Xtra! Extra Value MealÒ to the Motown Museum with a minimum donation of $10,000. 

Customers were able to win daily prize packages and a trip on the Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage by going into their local McDonald’s, getting the Motown trivia fact for the day, calling or faxing the correct answer into the radio station. 

The month-long promotion was kicked off at a Motown-themed McDonald’s in Detroit on February 1st and there was clearly a need for a wonderfully creative and spectacular crescendo. 

The Motown News Review - Live in Studio A was conceived. Detroit’s news anchors lip-syncing and karaoking to their favorite Motown hits by such greats as Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Four Tops and The Temptations.

OBJECTIVES

To top off a month-long Black History Month with a media-attracting event.

To emphasize McDonald’s commitment to giving back to the community.

To provide an opportunity for McDonald’s owner/operators and regional staff to network with key influencers.

STRATEGY & PLANNING

The concept was to have something exclusive to Detroit and the legendary “Motown Sound”.  The goal was to celebrate and bring together Detroit’s own “stars” (news anchors), make for a fantastic time for everyone and create an event that intrigued everyone from the McFamily to the community to the media to the who’s who of Detroit. The Motown News Review was a reception-style event held at the Motown Historical Museum – the original Motown Records recording studio.  The event was billed as an  opening night premier celebration complete with red carpet runners, four-beam spotlight, stanchions with red velvet roping, valet parking, coat check and tight security. Limousines were individually sent to each television station for the “stars”. The food was exquisite with an ice sculpture patterned after the invitation designed by Hermanoff & Associates. Media presses also were replicas of the invitation as were poster murals.

EXECUTION

An informal poll was taken of some news anchors to get their feel and comfort level for doing this type of event. With encouragement from some big newsroom names, the planning began. Letters were sent to all television stations explaining the promotion, partnership and wrap-up reception.

A massive effort went into the guest list with special attention focused on contacting Motown legends still residing in the Detroit area such as The Miracles, Martha Reeves and The Vandellas and The Marvelettes.  Invitations were sent out to dignitaries, business and community leaders and Motown alumni.

Limousines were sent to each responding and participating television station to pick up the Motown “stars”. Upon arrival they were escorted up the red carpet into the museum where, in the entrance, photo ops ensued before they hit the studio for their debut.

Television monitors were wired throughout the entire museum for guests to view the happenings in Studio A.  (Studio A is the original recording studio where the legendary Motown stars cut their hits that put the Motor City and the record label on the music map.) The news anchors performed with their fellow anchors from other stations to form the music groups.

Participation awards were given to each station, a velvet matted and framed replica of the invitation with engraved plates. The Motown Museum was presented with their donation and the winner of the cruise received her boarding pass.

EVALUATION

It was the absolute buzz of the town and the place to be. Champagne flowed, people sang their hearts out and there wasn’t a frown in the crowd. Ten news anchors representing four television stations performed as if they were the original Motown singers.  There were eight television hits including coverage from a station that didn’t participate. The event also was featured in two full-page spreads in the pre-eminent African-American newspaper. 
Esther Gordy Edwards, founder and president of The Motown Historical Museum, along with her staff were absolutely ecstatic about the attention and efficiency of the “invitation only” affair, declaring it the best event ever held at the museum.

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