Monday, February 6, 2012

Multicultural Marketing and the Super Bowl 2012

Marketers seem to be missing the ball. Madison Avenue and its chronic lack of cultural awareness and representation are evident in the 2012 Super Bowl ads. Blacks and Hispanics can only be seen in the background and as factory or service workers of some type. An online car seller shows a Black buyer a a main character, and a car ad shows a couple of Inuits as main characters, other than that it looks like non-Hispanic Whites own the show along with multiple dogs and polar bears.

Listen, I love non-Hispanic Whites, dogs, polar bears, and most other interesting and cute characters.  That is not the issue.  The issue is that minorities are about 40% of the total population in the US and they are almost invisible and stereotyped in the most prominent ad event in the United States. And I am not asking for fair representation. That is not the issue either.  I am advocating for business sense. How can emerging minorities identify with brands if they are not seen associated with them? And, how can they be compelled if the cultural values of these minorities are not represented?

As I was enjoying the Super Bowl ads it came to mind how our industry is still incredibly naive about what is driving the economy and innovation in this great Country. Emerging minorities are driving technology adoption and have larger families. I am mystified as to how can advertising firms miss the changing cultural environment of the US.  I thought I would share my surprise.

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