Brands’ Social Stance and Consumer Behavior

As brand leaders increasingly feel motivated — or pressured — to take a stance on societal issues, Morning Consult’s study explored whether ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) positions translate to changes in consumer behavior. The findings offer new insights into the attitudes and behaviors of different consumer types. Read more »

NYCU: Perspectives on the Future of Advertising

When two industry heavyweights meet and talk about the future of the advertising industry, it’s worth it to stop and listen. Marla Kaplowitz, President and CEO of the 4A’s for the past five years, probed industry issues earlier this month with Philippe Krakowsky, a 20-year veteran of IPG who recently completed his first year as CEO.
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Navigating The Messy Middle: The Great Resignation (Event Summary)

  • by Sanyu Lubogo, Spotify
  • Cultural Effectiveness Council

On Nov. 9, 2021, the third installment of the ARF Cultural Effectiveness Council’s Navigating the Messy Middle series examined how media, marketing, and research teams are facing capacity issues due to record departures, and how many Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts (DEI) are likely to shift as a result. Led by the ARF Cultural Effectiveness Council Co-Chair’s Janelle James, a dynamic discussion took place with our self-nicknamed (learn about them in the recording) guests Pepper Miller “Black Cultural Activist,” Founder & President of Hunter Miller Group, Joanna Lara “The Igniter,” US Multicultural Brand Partner & Strategy Lead at Google and Co-Founder of Latinos in Tech, and Carla Ebola “Mrs. KPI” EVP, DEI Lead at Energy BBDO.

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NYCU: Podcasts Attract Hispanics in the US

“The Latino Podcast Listener Report” shows that both Spanish- and English-dominant Hispanics in the US are becoming an important podcast audience. Edison Research finds that 36% of US Latinos age 18+ (16 million people) have listened to a podcast in the last month, a 44% increase from 2020. This is narrowing the gap with the overall 18+ U.S. population, of whom 40% are monthly podcast listeners. New research shows that this dramatic increase comes from both English-dominant and Spanish-dominant listeners.

  • The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have contributed to the changes seen in the most recent study. Over half (54%) of Hispanic monthly podcast listeners say they began listening to podcasts during the COVID-19 pandemic (March 2020 or after).
  • The number of U.S. Latinos reached daily by podcasts has increased dramatically since pre-pandemic times. Today, 21% of the U.S. Latino population listen to podcasts each day, up from 11% in Q1 2020.
Regarding monetization, 58% of U.S. Latino monthly podcast listeners say they would pay a small fee to avoid hearing ads on the podcasts they listen to. That’s six million podcast listeners. In the current ad-based environment, U.S. Latinos show an affinity for brands advertised on Latino-based podcasts. And 75% say they are likely to purchase a brand on a podcast hosted by Latinos. Latino podcast listeners also have unique listening habits and motivations. When they listen to podcasts at home, 49% are spending time with family and friends – more than double that of the overall 18+ population (22%). Thirty-eight percent of U.S. Latino podcast listeners tune in to stay connected with their family’s country of origin. Source: Edison Research (2021, July 13). The Latino Podcast Listener Report. Edison Research.  

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NYCU: Google Shares “Diversity Tool Kit” for All

Google is making their internal marketing toolkit, which is designed to promote diversity and inclusiveness, available to everyone. Lorraine Twohill, CMO at Google, writes: For too long most ads, including many of our own, have portrayed historically marginalized communities in ways that are harmful or stereotypical. And that’s only if they get included in the first place. In the past year, we have seen an incredible call for change, but our actions have not been enough. It’s on all of us to make sure the billions of messages seen by people every day truly represent the multicultural and nuanced world we live in. Here’s what we’ve learned:

  • At Google, we have always believed in the power of sharing what we know, so that our tools and resources can help tackle our biggest societal challenges, including addressing inequality in advertising. That is why today we are making our internal marketing toolkit, All In (g.co/all-in), available to everyone. We work with hundreds of agencies and sharing what we have learned about diversity in marketing with our agency partners has made a world of difference, for us and them.
  • I want to be clear that we do not have all of the answers. And these resources are not a solution, but a step forward. With this toolkit, teams of all sizes can find guides to help them.
  • Build the right team. Empower underrepresented talent on your team and partners’ teams so your ideas benefit from a variety of perspectives. Make inclusive creative choices. Get tools to help you make inclusive choices and avoid stereotypes through your creative process, from defining your audience to writing a script or social copy.
  • Since 2017, we have been partnering with experts and industry-leading organizations like the Geena Davis Institute, AdColor, GLAAD, Goodwill, Hispanic Federation, Association of National Advertisers and more, to build this toolkit and fix our mistakes, while bringing others along with us on this journey.
  • Three years ago, I shared the results of our initial diversity audit, which showed that 10% of the creative we reviewed featured Black or Latinx people. Thanks to the learnings from this toolkit, that number is now 26%. Our creative audits have also shown us that we need to make more room for LGBTQ+ stories and portrayals, include more older adults and people with disabilities, and many more.
Source: Twohill, L. (2021, June). Google’s CMO shares her team’s inclusive marketing toolkit: ‘We have to be all in’. Google.

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NYCU: “Brands Must be Agents of Societal Change”

A new Edelman Barometer Report concludes: "The definition of brand relevance goes far beyond reflecting culture now." Consumers are prioritizing trust in brands over love for brands, and they’re realizing the power they have in compelling companies to be agents of societal change. According to the study, respondents said brands are more culturally relevant if they reflect societal values (38%), meet a new societal need (33%) and change social interactions for the better (32%). CEO Richard Edelman says, "It's now a demand: change the culture, and if you do that, I will reward you." When brands don't meet expectations of their stakeholders, consumers said they have the power to force change, with 63% expressing the belief that they can compel a brand to change almost anything about itself. The study found 78% said their influence extends beyond the consumer experience to business operations, including 39% who believe they can ensure materials are environmentally friendly, 27% said the can get a CEO to speak out on an important issue and 25% said they can get rid of a CEO if they disapprove of them. “This is an opportunity for brands to see there's a new playing field,” said Jackie Cooper, who was named Edelman’s Chief Brand Officer in March. "Brands can now have the confidence to stand for something and know that it might not be beloved by everybody, but the data shows that standing for something builds trust," Cooper said. "And if you build your trust, your purpose and your advocacy, the sales grow." According to Edelman, the progression to such consumer-demanded brand activism began around 2017, when politics, populism and nationalism started coming to the fore and brands were thrust into debates about trade issues and societal values. Brands started getting involved in politics in some cases, not of their own choosing but because consumers had different expectations and began exercising what Edelman calls "belief-driven buying or brand democracy." The Trust Barometer surveyed 14,000 people in 14 markets: Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, the U.A.E., the U.K. and the U.S. Source: Stam, A. (2021, June 23). Edelman Trust Barometer special report: Brands must be agents of societal change, say consumers. PRWeek.  

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NYCU: Brands and LGBTQ+ Consumers

Pride month is becoming more important for brands in the US. Here are two articles addressing the relationship between brands and the diverse LGBTQ+ community. First, data from a survey by Morning Consult. June has been recognized as Pride Month in the United States for decades, and this year, brands are celebrating en masse. But, as per usual, when it comes to corporate America’s embrace of social and political topics, many consumers are expressing skepticism about companies’ motivations, according to a new survey from Morning Consult.   Nonetheless, many brands are selling rainbow-themed merchandise this month and working to convince consumers that their efforts are more than marketing stunts. “Over the past few years, there’s been an explosion in Pride campaigns, but we’re also seeing more and more that the LGBTQ community is holding brands responsible for how they approach their Pride campaigns,” said Spencer Harvey, Communications Manager at GLAAD. “Visibility is great, but nowadays, it’s about how your campaign is stepping up and showing that you support the community.” In fact, companies that can’t credibly claim their Pride campaigns are authentic might be better off doing nothing at all.  “If it’s not who you are as a brand, just stay away,” said Jim Joseph, President of North America for McCann Health.  “If it’s not important to your audience or employees, don’t force fit it, because that comes across immediately.” However, for companies that do support equal rights, regardless of gender or sexuality, Pride initiatives can make many consumers see them in a more favorable light, according to the survey. Source: Meyers, A. (2021, June 10). For Pride Month, Lip Service and Rainbow Merch Alone Won’t Convince Consumers of Brands’ Best Intentions. Morning Consult.

Adweek Report: How Brands Are Giving Back to LGBTQ+ Communities. “Let’s be honest: Most major brands haven’t maintained a consistent-enough relationship with LGBTQ+ communities to survive Pride Month without some level of scrutiny. More often than not, rainbow washing—the act of deploying Pride-themed versions of their products and marketing without substantially engaging queer communities—tends to be the minimal-effort route that too many brands take. The majority of consumers recognize these attempts as inauthentic almost immediately. But it’s never too late to start developing real bonds with queer consumers. One of the most effective ways to show support is through charitable efforts, and Pride offers brands ample opportunity to turn their specialized products into support that resonates beyond June. What’s more, the communities at the center of it all are paying serious attention: According to recent analysis, queer consumers are more likely than other marginalized groups to actively seek and patronize the companies that are engaging their collective community in sustained ways.” Editor’s Note: You can look at the work provided by a number of brands, including SodaStream, Shopify and 1-800-Flowers. Source: Miller, S. (2021, June 3). Here's How Brands Are Giving Back to LGBTQ+ Communities for Pride Month 2021. AdWeek. (Only AdWeek subscribers can read the full article)

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NYCU: SPONSORED CONTENT -- Understand Me, Don't Define Me (Gen Z)

Generation Z is poised to be the most influential generation in human history.

The oldest members of Gen Z are just graduating from college, while its youngest members are still in grade school. Despite that, they account for 20% of all U.S. consumers, with an estimated direct buying power of $143 billion. They are a generation to be reckoned with: Constituting approximately 32% of the global population, Gen Z is emerging as the world's largest and most diverse generation. And now, marketers are jockeying to build brand loyalty among this increasingly valuable cohort. As the first generation of digital natives, Gen Z was born into a world of seismic social change. With a practical streak that belies their young years, they are known for their work ethic, technology prowess and passion for action. As they come into their own as consumers, employees and citizens, it is imperative to truly understand what motivates and drives them. Moving away from labels and toward the future of data will successfully guide CPGs and retailers that want to market to Gen Z. Doing so will pay off. Brands that make the connection with this remarkable generation drive, on average, 14x greater dollar growth opportunity versus other generations. Source: IRI's Lynne Gillis And Jennifer Pelino, And Janis Gilman At The Female Quotient. Link.

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