McDonald’s Names Police Brutality Victims; Streaming Secrets in Netflix Top 10: Thursday’s First Things First

What happens when politicians break the rules on social platforms?

black victims of gun violence
McDonald's names seven Black people who have been killed by police or gunned down by white civilians. McDonald's
Headshot of Jess Zafarris

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McDonald’s Ad Remembers Black Victims of Police Brutality and Gun Violence

McDonald’s joined the rising number of brands speaking out against racial injustice in the past week with a bold spot from Wieden + Kennedy memorializing seven Black Americans who were killed by police or shot while unarmed. The simple, silent video lists the names of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Alton Sterling, Botham Jean, Atatiana Jefferson, Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, explaining that “They were all one of us” and concluding with “Black Lives Matter.” The ad also announces that the brand will donate to the National Urban League and the NAACP.

Watch: The brand is new to this particular conversation, but Wieden + Kennedy has a history creating social justice-themed ads.

More on how brands are responding to racial injustice:

  • A number of major league sports teams have publicly condemned racism and shown support for Black Lives Matter—but critics are pointing out that some have long used racist logos, mascots and chants.
  • In an update to an article we ran Monday, Bliss, Disney, Etsy, Fashion Nova, Procter & Gamble, Lego and TikTok have joined an ongoing list of brands that have donated to organizations fighting racial injustice. Donations by these seven brands alone totaled $20,040,000.

Premium | Who Needs a Creative Powerhouse? This Insurer Hired Its Own Out-of-Work Clients

When the crisis hit, insurtech startup Next Insurance had been planning to drop some serious cash on a flashy TV spot from a big-name agency and invest in a rebrand. But when the pandemic began to impact the brand’s clients, small business owners, Next pivoted its ad budget to help them out instead. Not only did the company lower premiums and extend discounts for clients, it also found about 50 out-of-work and struggling construction workers, bakers, photographers, builders, artists and creators, and then hired them. The effort turned into a new campaign, “Built by Business.”

For Adweek Pro Members: The quick pivot built authenticity into its brand purpose, a strategy other startups can use to gain an advantage over bigger competitors.

Not a Pro member yet? Get the insights and intelligence you need to succeed with an Adweek Pro Subscription, providing access to insider reporting, exclusive events and more. 

What Netflix’s Top 10 List Says About Streaming Viewership

Netflix, which doesn’t often reveal much of its performance data, has started showing users its 10 most popular programs every day. The new feature provides some interesting insights into user behavior and preferences:

  • Netflix original series like Love Is Blind, Dead to Me and Tiger King have the greatest potential to hit—and stay in—the top 10 and the No. 1 spot.
  • External acquired movies have the potential to hit the top 10, but the platform’s original movies are more likely to hit the no. 1 spot, and movies in general don’t have the staying power of shows.
  • Animated movies and TV series for kids, including Despicable Me and Avatar: The Last Airbender, tend to reach and stay in the top 10 because kids are watching more TV in quarantine, and because they tend to rewatch the same programs.

But most hits don’t stay that way: Even wildly popular programming aimed at adults in particular doesn’t stay in the top 10 for long.

  • Related: HBO Max is off to a bumpy start thanks to brand confusion that makes it difficult for users to see what programming lives where. Plus, the streaming service debuted a week ago, but some subscribers still don’t have it due to a complex web of carriage agreements.

What Happens When Politicians Break the Rules on Social Media?

The ongoing war between Twitter and Donald Trump, which was initiated when the platform started flagging his tweets—and exacerbated by the president’s executive order targeting all social platforms—has forced all social media companies to think about how they’ll handle the president’s posts going forward.

While Facebook declined to react to Trump’s post threatening violence against protesters (much to the ire of its staff), Twitter will continue to flag world leaders’ posts with “public interest notices” as needed, leaving them visible in most cases, but labeling them to note rule-breaking or misinformation. This sets a challenging precedent, requiring the platform to manage future tweets by public officials according to the same standards, and positioning it more as a publisher.

A new age for social media: No matter how they proceed, platforms including Snapchat, Reddit and TikTok will be measured against Twitter’s decisions.

More of Today’s Top News and Highlights

Adweek Radio: Parental Improv 101

The latest episode of Adweek Radio focuses on parenting and what it’s like to teach in the time of Covid-19. Sandra Oh Lin, founder and CEO of KiwiCo, JM Herrmann, vp, strategy director at Giant Spoon, and Adweek’s Lisa Lacy and Doug Zanger join us to talk about the joys and foibles of quarantine parenthood.

Listen here or on your podcast player of choice.

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@JessZafarris Jess Zafarris is an audience engagement editor at Adweek.