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In the last decade, the largest source of population growth has been from underrepresented groups, worth a combined buying power of over $5 trillion.
Our newest generation, Gen Z, also boasts the largest, most diverse media users yet, with only 52 percent identifying as non-Hispanic white, compared to 61% of millennials surveyed in 2002.
Multicultural marketing and research is a business imperative, yet only 5.2% of total ad spend is allocated. This shift in demographic and media usage patterns clearly indicates that businesses need to adapt and prioritize diversity in their marketing strategies.
To shed light on the importance of multicultural marketing, we compiled a list of successful campaigns that have effectively reached and resonated with diverse audiences.
From Ford’s “Emeline” creative campaign to Lincoln’s “Lincoln Listens First” campaign, these multicultural marketing examples demonstrate the power of an inclusive marketing strategy that celebrates diversity and promotes social cohesion.
❓Did you know?…❓
70% of Gen Z consumers are more trusting of brands representing diversity in advertising.
Meanwhile, 61% of Americans find diversity in advertising important, and 38% of consumers in general are more likely to trust brands that represent diversity.
The percentage is higher among specific consumer groups:
- Black (79%)
- Asian/Pacific Islander (79%)
Sources: Adobe, Microsoft Advertising
What is Multicultural Marketing?
Multicultural or diversity marketing involves developing advertising campaigns acknowledging specific subgroups’ unique cultural backgrounds and attributes within a target audience.
✨What does a successful multicultural campaign look like?✨
“Successful multicultural marketing campaigns break free from the confines of conventional advertising by authentically featuring individuals or communities that have long been marginalized or misrepresented in mainstream media. This requires marketers to understand their audiences and goes well beyond what I consider ‘token diversity,’ which is all too common in many of today’s marketing initiatives.”
–Damon Henry, Founder, KORTX
What Makes for Successful Multicultural Campaigns?
Successful multicultural campaigns require a thoughtful and nuanced approach, prioritizing authenticity and inclusivity over shortcuts and stereotypes.
In our framework post, we established a campaign maturity model that we use to help diagnose marketing strategies or programs.
We examined three stages in our model,
- Find Your Audience: The audience you’re hoping to target and reach.
- Know Your Audience: Having a deep understanding of the characteristics and needs of your target audience beyond basic demographics.
- Ways of Working: Hiring and promoting minority voices and investing in minority-owned partners and technology.
The first two, finding and knowing your target audience encourages marketers to consider the nuances of their audience beyond traditional demographics like age, location, and industry and researching factors like cultural background, beliefs, values, and behaviors influencing customer decision-making.
It’s not enough to feature a demographic in an ad and target everyone because different groups have varying values, beliefs, and communication styles that advertisers must consider.
📺 Example: A company wants to target Spanish-speakers so they create Spanish language ads and target only individuals with Spanish set as the default browser language. This can leave out bilingual individuals who don’t have browsers set to Spanish, missing an opportunity to target more people.
Tailoring your ad to a certain demographic but using racial or ethnic stereotypes is another common multicultural advertising faux pas.
Dolce and Gabbana made this mistake in its “DG Loves China” campaign, which showed a Chinese woman eating pizza with chopsticks while another ad showed a Chinese man playing assistant to a white woman.
🔎Read more about how to target multicultural audiences with our Multicultural Marketing Maturity Framework. Effective multicultural marketing campaigns use data deterministically to reach a diverse audience through culturally relevant and authentic messaging. KORTX’s campaign maturity model helps pinpoint where to improve and expand your tactics to create an authentic campaign.
Making assumptions about a culture without comprehensive research perpetuates harmful stereotypes that can lead to cultural insensitivity, offense, and discrimination. By accurately representing diverse communities, brands can build trust with multicultural consumers and foster a sense of personal connection to their products or services.
Multicultural Marketing Examples: 7 Brands That Set the Standard
In this section, we’ll explore some of the most successful multicultural marketing examples and examine why they have resonated so strongly with audiences.
We’ll also examine three ads KORTX helped clients create through our comprehensive end-to-end campaign support, including customer research and insights, media plan audit and planning, and more.
These ads demonstrate how KORTX can help you design engaging creatives with messaging that speaks to your customers’ values and life experiences.
Target: Bring Home Support
Black-owned. Latinx-owned. LGBTQ+-owned. These are the faces of Target’s “Bring Home Support” ad.
The ad showcases minority-owned businesses and reflects Target’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity.
Target reinforces its image as an inclusive retailer that values and supports all its customers, regardless of their background.
🎯Example: Target committed to spending $2 billion with Black-owned businesses by 2025 to use its resources to uplift and create opportunities for Black-owned businesses. – See Target’s Progress on Investing $2 Billion in Black-owned Businesses
Target’s efforts to support minority-owned businesses align with its broader diversity marketing strategy, which aims to create a more inclusive shopping experience for all customers (such as its Forward Founders program).
It is a powerful example of how businesses can use resources to promote social equity and create positive change in their communities.
DICK’S Sporting Goods: The Lock-In
Caleb Coffee, Caroline Manning, Cohen Muse, and more: these are the diverse faces of the new generation of influencers taking over social media.
DICK’S invited seven top influencers to get “Locked In” for the night to promote diversity and inclusivity in sports.
In this video, young influencers bond in the store through various activities such as rock climbing, ping-pong, exploring fashionable shoes, and backflips while backed by “Welcome Back” by Mase.
The commercial emphasizes the diversity of the influencers’ backgrounds and the power of sports in uniting people regardless of race, gender, or background.
Like Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods is another company committed to achieving a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace and sports culture.
🎾Example: Across DICK’S entire family of brands, it is committed to inclusivity as evidenced by its 100% median pay equity across all races and genders, and by 2025, it will spend $300M with diverse-owned businesses and increase BIPOC representation in leadership positions by 30%. Read more on DICK’S inclusion page.
Folgers: Allow Us to Reintroduce Ourselves
The Folgers “Allow Us to Reintroduce Ourselves” commercial leans heavily into geographical and cultural identity, stating that the coffee is “unapologetically toasted [and] roasted in our hometown of New Orleans.”
This multicultural marketing example features real Folgers employees and local legends like Trombone Shorty, who collaborated on the music track to give it an authentic New Orleans vibe. The ad also commissioned Joan Jett and the Blackhearts’ classic song, “Bad Reputation,” as the theme song for the new campaign.
Overall, the commercial celebrates Folgers’ deep roots in New Orleans, a city rich with multicultural heritage. Featuring the city’s cultural diversity, this ad promotes multicultural identities and celebrates the unique cultural contributions of New Orleans.
💡What is the first step towards creating impactful, multicultural campaigns?
“Inclusive ad campaigns are the first step to creating impactful, multicultural campaigns. Equitable representation in marketing teams and positive community impact are the pillars of a brand’s genuine involvement with multicultural audiences.”
–Damon Henry, Founder, KORTX
Walmart: Black & Unlimited
The Walmart “Black & Unlimited” commercial celebrates the diversity of Black culture and promotes multicultural identities, “for who you are and who you want to be,” Walmart is there for you as you are Black, rad, fearless.
The ad features a diverse cast of Black individuals from various backgrounds, including musicians, artists, athletes, and entrepreneurs, who are living their lives to the fullest.
The ad highlights the richness and diversity of Black culture, celebrating the unique ways Black people are redefining success and unlimited potential.
Through the showcasing of Black creativity and diversity, the commercial promotes multicultural identities and recognizes the significant contributions of Black people to society.
Adidas: Calling All Creators
Adidas celebrates creativity by bringing in a diverse group of creators from different backgrounds and industries, including designers and athletes.
Sitting at a table is a diverse cast of creators, including rapper Pusha T, basketball player James Harden, and fashion designer Alexander Wang, shown collaborating and pushing boundaries in their respective fields.
The campaign encourages people from all backgrounds to unleash their creativity and become part of the Adidas community.
“Calling All Creators” promotes multicultural identities by celebrating the creators’ diversity and emphasizing the importance of embracing individuality and creativity, regardless of one’s background or culture.
🤜🏻🤛🏿Looking to improve your multicultural targeting and spend? KORTX can help!
Download our Multicultural Audience Guide and learn how to effectively develop and engage with diverse audiences.
With tips and tricks from industry experts, you’ll gain valuable insights to improve your multicultural marketing efforts and connect with your audience with hyper-targeted ads.
Download Our Guide Today!
Ford x KORTX: Emeline
Breaking stereotypes and making strides in a traditionally male-dominated field, Emeline King is a force to be reckoned with.
For #BlackHistoryMonth, KORTX helped Ford with this ad campaign, including creative design direction and strategic execution.
Emeline King was Ford’s first Black female transportation designer, with some of her best work seen in the interior design of the 1994 Ford Mustang. She also contributed to the design of the 1990 Ford Probe and 2000 Ford Thunderbird, among many others.
This ad successfully gives visibility to an underrepresented group in the automotive industry, inspiring and empowering future generations from diverse backgrounds to pursue their passions and break barriers.
Amazon x KORTX: International Women’s Day
For this multicultural marketing example, KORTX also helped with creative for Amazon’s International Women’s Day landing page for “Women at Work.”
The “Women at Work” campaign features stories of women in different professions and how they’ve overcome challenges in their respective fields, like Rachel Cooke, Senior Manager for Reliability Engineering in Europe, and Alicia Boler Davis, Vice President of Global Customer fulfillment.
KORTX created engaging visuals and messaging to resonate with Amazon’s audience (81% of US female internet users shop at Amazon) and help spread awareness about the importance of gender diversity and inclusivity in the workplace.
Lincoln x KORTX: Lincoln Listens First
Hosted by Angela Rye, Principal and CEO of IMPACT Strategies, a political advocacy firm, Lincoln Listens First promotes the importance of empathy, listening, and understanding, all values that promote diversity and inclusion.
KORTX helped Lincoln with end-to-end campaign support, including the creation of this ad.
The Lincoln series features conversations between Rye and a group of people with various political views and backgrounds. Rye encourages civil discourse by listening to each other’s perspectives and finding common ground.
Lincoln indirectly promotes multicultural identities by showcasing a diverse group of people engaging in respectful conversations, emphasizing empathy and understanding, and valuing different perspectives to build bridges across cultural differences.
Multicultural Marketing: A Business Imperative for the Future
Multicultural marketing is a must-have for businesses, given that underrepresented groups have been the largest source of population growth in the past decade and have a combined buying power of over $5 trillion.
The most diverse media users yet, Gen Z, highlights the need for businesses to adapt and prioritize diversity in their marketing strategies. By examining successful multicultural marketing examples from Ford, Amazon, Lincoln, and more, businesses can gain insight into how to effectively connect with diverse audiences and devise their own multicultural marketing strategies that celebrate diversity and promote social cohesion.
⚡71% of consumers expect brands to promote diversity and inclusion in their online advertising: is your business one of them?
Minority-owned and part of the Black LUMAscape, we have the expertise to audit your program and help you build inclusive campaigns with culturally relevant context and messaging that resonates with your target market.
Find Out How Today!
Kate Meda is a Copywriter at KORTX. She enjoys omitting needless words and making things sound good.