5 Multicultural Advertising Terms You Need to Know

3 min read
June 02, 2017

Multicultural Advertising  

The world is barreling towards diversity, despite the rise of populists/nationalist movements worldwide, most studies paint a picture of a multicultural future. As this future continues to develop multicultural advertising is going to continue to ascend to the forefront of most brands priorities as the eagerness to tap into this market reaches new levels.

If there is an Umbrella theme for multicultural advertising it would be nuisance, as the old saying goals "the devil is in the details" this is no different pulling off effective multicultural campaigns takes an understanding of the demographic and using the nuisances of they way they speak, live and receive messaging. The basics of this understanding start with terms that are used in multicultural advertising that you must have a mastery of. Here a few that will be important to know for multicultural campaigns.


Connecting with a multicultural community through the importance their hair holds.


Diaspora refers to a population of people that are away from their home land. Another way to think of it is if Immigrant or Ex Pat are singular Diaspora would be the plural with the caveat of them residing in one locale that wasn't their homeland. Diaspora marketing is a large part of multicultural advertising. Brands from the target groups country of origin are very interested in marketing their products to folks form their homeland who now live abroad. It gives them another revenue stream to a target already familiar with their product/services and it also allows the brand to get their product and service into a an entirely different country and leverage that into other opportunities for expansion.


AA is an acronym for African American. Undoubtedly one of the core groups of the multicultural market. When reviewing marketing materials, decks , campaign recaps, metrics etc any mention of AA or the "AA market" is a reference to this demographic.


Grassroots Activation  is in reference to a tactic often used in multicultural campaigns. Diaspora Groups, AA, Latino, Asian etc. consume media and messaging in very different way than general market, if at all. Often times the best way to get your message in front of them is to go where they are. Literally! This is at the heart of a grassroots activation engaging the target audience in areas where they are, public and private spaces. You may think this could only be an offline effort while often times it is in many cases it can be executed online as well.


Brand Ambassadors are individual people who help carry the message of the Brands product or Service to the consumer. In some cases brand ambassadors are celebrities who may make appearances on behalf of the brand at different event, use the product or service and be documented using said product/service, talk about/endorse the brand through their social and other channels. Other times Brand Ambassadors are not celebrities but they are well versed on the the brand and can engage the target audience on the brand's behalf usually during Grassroots activations that we mentioned before. The most important thing for a Brand Ambassador whether celebrity or not is to have some connection with the target. Could be cultural, colloquial or a shared interest in the product or service.


Multicultural Advertising


Non-Traditional Media -- As the name implies you have traditional media. TV, Billboards, Print, and even now internet banner and pay per click ads can be considered traditional. Non-traditional media would be mediums that fell outside of this realm i.e. Jitney/Commuter Van Ads, Digital signage, Brand Takeovers/Community partnerships with retailers in a targeted area. And this is not to say that traditional media doesn't work in Multicultural advertising especially print which is a preference for many diaspora groups, but you must have a mix non-traditional media as well. Most of the choices of non-traditional media would be based on the same premise as the grassroots activations, media that meets the people where they are.


Multiculturalism will continue to grow as we move towards more inclusion and the elasticity of physical and digital borders continue to be tested worldwide. These terms among others will be in the lexicon of advertising pros and even households as the shift continue. Have you worked on Multicultural campaigns? What are the terms you continually use or hear surrounding these efforts? Please share in the comments section we always enjoy your insights.


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