Yuriy Boykiv, co-founder and CEO of Gravity Media writes, “Multicultural marketing is no longer an option, but a necessity”. With the consumer market continuing to grow in diversity, it becomes more and more compelling for brands to establish authentic connections with ethnic groups. Those who recognize and respond to this growing market are included among the best brands in the world.
Although many critics say that this year’s Super Bowl commercials did not convey as much political statements and socially-conscious themes compared to previous years, there were a few brands that spoke about diversity. The Kraft 30-second ad was about diversity in family, showing kids with mixed heritage, gay couples and families with different ethnicities. T-Mobile went with a 60-second ad of babies of all different races with the narrator saying, “Some people may see your differences and be threatened by them”. The Toyota commercial featured four leaders of different religions going to the Super Bowl together in one car. Coca-Cola featured a 60-seconder commercial of people, young and old, of different backgrounds, cultural and otherwise, of varying likes and dislikes but all enjoy Coca Cola. While this year’s ad is less political in tone and treatment, it nonetheless effectively delivered the message of equality among people of various backgrounds – “…there’s a Coke for we and us and there’s a Coke for you”.
Championing diversity is not new for Coca-Cola. The “It’s Beautiful” commercial that aired in both 2014 and 2017 Super Bowl shows people of different ethnicities singing “America the Beautiful” in various languages. While this strong diversity message is designed to portray the multicultural make-up of the US population, it received widespread criticisms. The hashtag #BoycottCoke trended on Twitter for a while.
Regardless of how we feel toward the issue of diversity, numbers surrounding the growing multicultural market don’t lie. Consider the following statistics from a Nielsen study:
- Thirty-eight percent of the U.S. population or 120 million people are African-American, Asian-American, and Hispanic consumers. These multicultural groups are projected to increase by 2.3 million each year.
- The multicultural buying power has increased from $661 billion in 1990 to $3.4 trillion in 2014 – an exponential growth compared to the total U.S. buying power.
- Multicultural groups comprise over 50 percent of the population in Hawaii, District of Columbia, California, New Mexico and Texas. Nevada, Maryland, Georgia, Arizona, Florida and New York.
Although many brands have embraced diversity, many marketing firms have yet to address the multicultural market. Those that ignore the increasing numbers of this segment of the population risk losing a big market share. Why do you think organizations resist the need for multicultural marketing?