Does Having Multicultural Marketing Mean Your Brand is Inclusive?

  • MSI

Multicultural marketing is popular today. Its aim is to increase inclusion through consumption. But does propagating such marketing make a brand inclusive? An inclusive brand is one that creates, communicates and delivers offerings that serve underrepresented communities, say researchers in this Marketing Science Institute (MSI) working paper. In this way, such brands enhance lives through increased equality, acceptance, respect, belonging and empowerment.

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Improving Inclusive Advertising

A new study by Paramount looks at the current state of inclusive advertising and offers six tactical strategies to improve advertising for the benefit of consumers and brands.

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The Future of Qual

In 2022 the ARF Cultural Effectiveness Council conducted 18 in-depth interviews (IDIs) with senior research executives via Teams and Zoom to understand how the ‘Future of Qual’ would evolve with rapidly changing qualitative methods and the urgency across industries to understand cultural shifts. Council members Chloe Stromberg of LinkedIn and Anne Kaplan of Paramount, who worked on this project, presented what the Council learned from these interviews. Their presentation was followed by a panel discussion with a mix of Council members (Tony D’Andrea of General Mills and Tristan Marra of GLAAD) and culture-savvy researchers outside the Council (Danie Hemsley of Cassandra and Kendra Clarke, former Senior Director, Head of Experience Research and Design, Core Technologies at Twitter), led by Council Co-Chair Janelle James of Ipsos. The presentation and discussion focused on how qualitative research is evolving, how it can overcome its challenges —particularly those related to diversity and cultural understanding—and best practices for conducting qual research, moving forward.

Diversity (or lack thereof) in TV

Samba’s research study on the lack of diversity in TV sought to understand the state of representation in popular TV by asking who was watching content with diverse casts, whether the show actors were representative of the U.S. population, and if people were more likely to watch TV shows where they see themselves represented.

Although the results proving TV shows’ lack of diversity were not surprising, the value of diverse audiences is growing in tandem with these populations, putting advertisers on notice to improve the status quo.

Scoring for Representation

Scott welcomed Radha to their virtual fireside chat on the subject of representation in media and the workplace. Scott recalled that at ARF AUDIENCExSCIENCE Conference in 2020, CBS outlined its steps to improve diversity and inclusiveness as both a moral and a business imperative. He asked Radha about CBS’s current thinking.

Leading with Inclusive Insights

On November 1, 2022, the ARF Cultural Effectiveness Council hosted a discussion on ways that brands have gained an edge by focusing their insights and subsequent marketing on traditionally under-represented communities.  Speakers from General Mills, Vevo, and muliti-cultural agency Alma shed light on the kinds of research they find helpful in uncovering valuable inclusive insights and the potential rewards of this strategy.  They cited examples of those insights and discussed the societal trends that underlie them. The session was moderated by Council Co-Chair Janelle James of Ipsos.

How Diversity in Advertising is Evolving

The event addressed how diversity in advertising is evolving. Consumers want to buy from companies that commit to diversity but mere representational presence in ads is not enough. Brands that produce creative that is authentic in context, and elicits emotion from consumers, will garner loyalty and ROI. Leaders from Microsoft and Kantar shared how we can collectively understand nuances better to debunk stereotypes and empower all groups of people.