The Year Ahead for Multicultural Marketing

The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) recently wrapped up what may have been its most compelling multicultural marketing conference in recent memory. Sure, the lineups were similar to years past, with an impressive group of senior marketers representing a number of top brands. What was different, however, was the tone of the conversation.

P&G’s Chief Marketing Officer Marc Pritchard summed it up rather perfectly: “If you’re not doing multicultural marketing, then you are not doing marketing.” Present tense, not forward looking. Emphasizing the urgency of connecting with an amazing tapestry of people throughout the United States. This sentiment was echoed by many others throughout the event.

The ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive Multicultural Marketing also made a big stir with the introduction of its Cultural Insights Impact Measure (CIIM), which evaluates the effectiveness of cultural insights in advertising and their effect on purchase intent, lift and loyalty. I’m delighted to report that our work for Denny’s, Nationwide and Toyota earned high marks, but you can read about that elsewhere :)

There is a layer of depth in the insights behind the advertising that was presented during the conference that speaks to a society ready to challenge the unconscious bias of our times.  In terms of Latinos, the second and third generation are loudly proclaiming their truth as Americans who come in every color, shape and form -- refusing to be seen in ways that limit their multidimensionality.

It is against this backdrop that I’d like to offer a few thoughts about opportunities we see, in terms of the embracing culture and individuality, as 2020 rapidly approaches:

-  Neutrality will place a bigger role as a symbol of inclusiveness.

-  There will be more examples of people evolving culture and challenging pre-conceived notions.

-  More big brands will lend their voices to support movements of equality and minority empowerment.

-  Advertising will continue with its reinvention process, which we will witness in more long form video, storytelling with a very strong POV.

-  Brands will do more of documented walk the walk than the beautiful impactful talk (messages) that was the strength of traditional advertising.

-  More than seeking a laugh, brands will continue to strive for advertising that makes us better people and challenges sub-conscious bias. -  2020 will be the year of truly speaking up due to the U.S. census and elections.

-  Brand building will happen by supporting movements intended to propel culture forward.

-  Afro-Latinos will continue to shine, unveiling a strong sub-cutulture within a culture. -  More Latino artistic expression (talent, art, businesses, stories) will serve as canvases for brands to refresh their storytelling.

-  The #seeall movement has taken off. Brands will inspire each other to take a stand on the matters that most resonate with their essence.

We are entering a new era of empathy and inclusion where brands are expected to have a point of view. It is very exciting, but it’s not for the faint of heart. There will always be temptation to seek the comfort of indifference and political correctness. Do this at your own peril, as it could cost you valuable time, connections, customers and even a job!  

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