Promises Kept: ANA's AIMM Reveals Its 2021 Best-In-Culture List with Ulta Beauty, USAA, Verizon and Walmart Among the Top Performers

Despite big commitments, many brands are still missing the mark when it comes to cultural authenticity in their ads

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- ANA's Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) and partner company Oppside, LLC released new findings from its Cultural Insights Impact Measure (CIIM™) revealing the Best-In-Culture brands of 2021 across key consumer segments. To measure the authenticity and level of authentic cultural portrayals of 2021 ads, CIIM™ conducted over 400,000 ad evaluations, testing 1,100 ads across 63 industries. 100,000 consumers watched and scored ads based on multiple cultural attributes in the CIIM™ algorithm including: authenticity, cultural pride, celebrations, good role models, positive reflections, cultural values, representation and respect, among others. Ads from brands across the retail, automobile, insurance, health, and telecommunications categories rose to the top by tapping into authentic and positive cultural portrayals, pride and positive role models.

With the recent rise of social unrest and the call for equality and fair representation, many brands made commitments to DE&I. However, progress against these promises has varied, with few brands implementing comprehensive strategies to understand and connect with diverse audiences. In fact, CIIM™ analysis uncovers a decline in the cultural relevance of ads across all consumer segments in 2021 with the sharpest decline among LGBTQ, People with Disabilities, and Hispanic English media viewers.

"According to CIIM™ research, brand-consumer connections start with representation but require rich authentic cultural portrayals to achieve the deeper ties that foster brand lift and growth," said Carlos Santiago, AIMM and Oppside Co-Founder. "As we head into Super Bowl weekend, where the spotlight shines brightly on the industry, these brands serve as a powerful example of how impactful connections can be made across various audiences with the same creative. The bar has been raised, and we hope others will follow."

The following Best-In-Culture brands, ranked by segment, may serve as models for the industry on how to achieve cultural relevance via inclusive marketing:

African American

  • Ulta Beauty
  • Ford
  • USAA

Hispanic English

  • Banner Health
  • Metro by T-Mobile
  • Walmart

Hispanic Spanish

  • Chevrolet
  • Verizon Fios
  • Walmart

All Consumers = General Population (Weighed)

  • Banner Health
  • USAA
  • Walmart

"We're proud to be recognized by AIMM and CIIM™ as a Best-in-Culture brand," said Mayra Rivera, Chief Marketing Officer for USAA. "As we celebrate USAA's 100-year anniversary in 2022, we're reminded of all who have helped to make USAA what it is today and what it will take to serve our military members and their families for the next 100 years. Equity and inclusion are essential to what we do, and with that, we are committed to ensuring CIIM™ continues to be an essential tool to engage diverse consumers in an authentic and meaningful way."

CIIM™ will continue to be a powerful metric for advertisers to leverage to make meaningful progress against DE&I goals, better engage diverse communities and generate greater ROI. To learn more about CIIM™ and how to integrate it into brand strategy, or for more information about AIMM, visit

About CIIM
CIIM™ (Cultural Insights Impact Measure™) is the industry-leading metric validating the incremental value of cultural relevance in ads and programming demonstrating that culture explains 40% of campaign' sales success and viewers' preference. As the largest cultural relevance measurement tool, CIIM covers 63 industries and ten segments: White Non-Hispanic, African American/Black, Asian English, Hispanic English Media Viewers, Hispanic Bilingual Media Viewers, Hispanic Spanish Media Viewers, LGBTQ, Native American, People with Disabilities, and General Population. Created by Oppside, LLC in partnership with AIMM member companies, CIIM™ provides a guide for brands and content creators to benchmark their cultural journey progress. To date, it has gathered  more than 500,000 ad evaluations across over 1,500 ads from more than 500 brands.

CIIM™ Best-In-Culture Brands Ranking Methodology
In 2021, CIIM™ tested over 1,100 ads. To determine the best in culture rankings, CIIM™ experts analyzed ad evaluations for brands with five or more CIIM™ tested 2021 ads. With 100 brands reaching this threshold, the team then identified the three top brands across the African American, Hispanic English, Hispanic Spanish and General Population White segments according to their  CIIM™ average scores.

About the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM)
ANA's Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM) was established in 2016 to provide corporations with viable solutions for growth by addressing opportunities in Multicultural and Inclusive marketing. AIMM comprises senior-level advertisers, media/publishers, research and data companies, agencies and trade organizations, to spotlight the missed growth potential in General, Hispanic, African American, Asian-American and LGBTQ markets. This extraordinary working group of industry leaders is transforming the way multicultural and inclusive marketing is seen and understood via an industry-wide reboot – the largest ever in this space. Beyond simply identifying where growth potential lies, AIMM shows its members (and the industry) how to best maximize this potential towards positive bottom-line impact. AIMM is the leading authority in the space.

About the Association of National Advertisers (ANA)
The ANA (Association of National Advertisers)'s mission is to drive growth for marketing professionals, for brands and businesses, and for the industry. Growth is foundational for all participants in the ecosystem. The ANA seeks to align those interests by leveraging the 12-point ANA Growth Agenda, which has been endorsed and embraced by the ANA Board of Directors and the Global CMO Growth Council. The ANA's membership consists of 1,400-plus domestic and international companies, including more than 900 client-side marketers and nonprofit fundraisers and 500 marketing solutions providers (data science and technology companies, ad agencies, publishers, media companies, suppliers, and vendors). Collectively, ANA member companies represent 20,000 brands, engage 50,000 industry professionals, and invest more than $400 billion in marketing and advertising annually.

SOURCE ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing (AIMM)

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