Recently, our Vice President of Marketing, Michaela Blanchard, spoke on a panel for Ad Week DC, #ADWKDC, addressing the topic of Multiculturism in Advertising. One audience member asked an insightful question. “How can you tell if a brand is authentic when advertising to minority audiences?” Of course, we can do our research to investigate a company’s culture and brand history. But we have to accept that direct Multicultural advertising targeting will be more prevalent as we enter a landscape where the minority becomes the majority.
Diversity and inclusion is a business imperative in hiring and profitability. Those who embrace it will be more likely to prosper, and those who ignore it will be more likely to fail. We must remember that the minority population in this country is currently at 41%, according to the U.S. census; and expected to exceed 50% before 2044. Any smart brand would position themselves to benefit from the massive buying power of African American and Hispanic customers in the marketplace.
If you are determined to use and buy the most socially-conscious goods and services, here are a few ways to see if the brands you support, support you:
- Look at past advertising campaigns to see how long diverse representation has been present.
- Have there been any recent snafus in the news, regarding insensitive marketing material or images?
- Look at the people at the table. Does the agency or marketing department have people that look like you in brand or product development?
- Is this brand only being supportive of a trend? For example, does this brand reach the LGBTQ audience outside of Pride Month?
- Finally, when all else fails…ask the internet. Social media has become the whistleblower of all things morally slanted.
But don’t be discouraged, whatever a brand’s reason may be, we are headed into a direction of a plethora of options for health and beauty, automobiles, and other retail treasures.