Head and Heart: Making Sense of Multicultural Mindsets

Monique L. Nelson – Chairman & CEO, UWG

Jeff Yang – SVP, Consulting Services, The Futures Company

Introduced by: Colleen Fahey Rush – EVP & CRO, Viacom Media Networks; ARF Board Member

The panel discussed a Marine Corps recruitment campaign targeting second generation Asian-Americans. The campaign was developed by UWG.  

Culture is a factor in decision-making.

Both rational and emotional reasons for becoming a Marine were analyzed. Emotion and rationality were considered as part of researching key areas that shape multicultural mindsets.

Explore the interplay between rational (tangible benefits) and emotional (intangible benefits) mindsets in the multicultural consumer.

They showed a recruitment video for the Marines called “A Warrior’s Education.”

The creative spoke to second-generation Asian Americans who experience a feeling of cultural displacement with their families and in American culture. These individuals stand within two worlds, and have a flexible sense of identity.

These two mindsets are not necessarily exclusive. They can run concurrently.

The decision to become a Marine is extremely engaged. Depending on culture, there are different tendencies operating. These individuals can use code-switching to fit in the majority environments, but also to stand out in these environments. They need to be able to adapt and function in sharply different cultural realities.

In the same way, multicultural consumers alternate in behavior but also in mindset. They tend to “think in color” in emotionally charged contexts.

  • Younger consumers tend to be more engaged, while older consumers are more habitual.
  • Hispanic, African-American, Asian-Americans are more engaged while non-Hispanic whites are more likely to be habitual.

Emotion and rationality are always at play in decision-making, all the time.

Marketing to multicultural consumers acknowledges the fluidity of their identity. They will have a rational consideration but the emotional connection is what makes their final decision.

In “A Warrior’s Education,” you see authentic storytelling about 1st Lt. David Pham, a Marine from a similar background. The videos were watched exclusively on Facebook and supported on marines.com.

The first video outlined the concept of self-discipline. The second video shows the importance of “respect” and love in leadership. The creative leverages content for the head and heart and is tailored to this particular group.

Appeal to the dual connection that involves their thinking processes and emotional drive.

Find the common ground between groups, take a universal approach, and find the “sweet spot” to make your appeal even stronger. Family is one of the cultural touchstones for Asian Americans that was leveraged the videos. These spots scored high for rationality and emotionality.

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