Target Multicultural Audiences, But Do It Right
January 6th, 2008
Posted by Danny Allen
OMD Worldwide released a report saying that when advertisers reach out to multicultural audiences, the advertisers have to be careful to culturally relevant. However, not only do they want to be culturally relevant when reaching out to multicultural audiences, but they also have to be careful to not do it wrong by using stereotypes for fear of doing more harm than good.
LatinoEsCool is very unimpressed by this report. It seems like common sense. If you're going to reach out to an ethnic group, do so in a manner that fits their language and culture, but don't insult them. End of story. Right?
It seems there's more to this. In particular, I don't think everybody does know this seemingly common sense principle.
This goes back to the discussions about the changing roles of multicultural agencies, particularly with regard to media buying (examples: how to increase your vertical jump
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m/2007/07/25/interview-with-alex-lopez-negrete/”>here, here, and here). Lots of advertisers are consolidating their general market and multicultural media buying agencies in order to negotiate based on larger scale. Other agencies are adding multicultural capabilities in hope of capturing part of the growing multicultural advertising business.
This may be where having a specialist agency adds value. Maybe specialist agencies do know how to reach multicultural audiences in a way that general market agencies can't. Maybe by getting a large agency to do both the general market and multicultural aspects of a campaign, an advertiser takes a risk of not only missing the mark, but of insulting their intended target customers. Or maybe big agencies can overcome lack of specific experience through adding resources and bringing in consultants.
Either way, it pays to know what you're doing when you're trying to reach multicultural audiences with your advertising.