Saweetie has already been crowned the Hip-Hop content queen and now she’s plotting on the crown for best brand collaboration.
After announcing her new out-of-the-box partnership with McDonald’s, on Aug. 9 the “ICY GRL” rapper finally unveiled the culmination of her teaming up with the fast-food chain to introduce “The Saweetie Meal” nationwide. This marks McDonald’s latest celebrity collaboration and its first-ever partnership with a female artist.
AfroTech got the opportunity to hang out with Saweetie as she took over a Black woman-owned McDonald’s in Lynwood, CA to celebrate The Saweetie Meal’s release.
What led Saweetie to this unusual, yet unique meeting of the minds? Three words — social media marketing. While other music artists took advantage of the break that quarantine gave them last year, Saweetie was hard at work pumping out skits and creative videos to keep her fans entertained and their minds off the unknown reality. Even before the pandemic, social media has always had a strong presence in Saweetie’s career and it’s largely what has propelled her to huge success in the music and entertainment industry over the past few years.
“It’s crazy because being on lockdown really inspired me to create content so that I could be connected to my fans,” she tells AfroTech about her tailor-made strategy for using social media. “I wanted to figure out how I could connect with them without being able to do my shows, meet and greets, etc., so it was actually out of me just being at home.”
Unlike others who utilize social media to showcase parts of their personal life, Saweetie is all about business when it comes to her digital tactics. From Twitter to Instagram to TikTok and other platforms, the budding Hip-Hop sensation has garnered millions and millions of followers who all have front row seats to her and her team’s content creation skills. The savvy she demonstrates online shows that she is becoming less of a student of the game and more of a teacher, and her proof is the “laundry list” that she follows to plan out her content ahead of time.
“So basically, I go over my laundry list with my team and we knock out what we see is best for the moment,” she says. “Not all content is good for the moment. You have to see what the world’s talking about.”
A prime example was last summer’s uprisings and Black Lives Matter protests — a sensitive time for the nation that was well-documented across social media. In the midst of COVID-19 and a widespread fight for social justice, Saweetie’s days as a social media expert taught her the art of cutting through the noise and pivoting when appropriate. So she did just that at the beginning of the pandemic and used her platform as a major artist to focus less on producing content and more on philanthropy work and educating others.
“There’s a time and place for everything,” she says. “Shout out to PrettyLittleThing because we had all that content from our release, but it was just weird releasing anything around that time. So we actually donated all of the proceeds to a cause to help with the [Black Lives Matter] movement.”
As the pandemic carried on, Saweetie knew people were bored at home and needed something to get them through the time. She then picked back up on the creative content and eventually introduced us to her strange food concoctions. Fast forward months later, she’s now cooking up her odd meal match-ups with McDonald’s in one of the most organic celebrity brand collaborations we’ve seen in a while.
“Yeah, I think my concoctions caught their eye,” Saweetie says of the partnership. “I mean, it was just like a dream come true. Honestly, I love McDonald’s. I remember I used to beg my mom to bring me to McDonald’s every day. So the fact that I’m on the packaging, the cartons, in their messaging, in front of the building. It’s like, wow, I can’t believe it’s me!”
Everything about her deal with the fast-food chain shows the difference between a celebrity teaming up with a brand for a money grab and a celebrity who’s able to be hands-on in a campaign that naturally incorporates their style and personality.
From the intentional packaging to the multi-purpose meal ideas down to the Saweetie-inspired copy, “The Saweetie Meal” is an exceptional case study on how brands can go above and beyond to pair with celebrities that match them authentically.