When it comes to advertising, the days of creating a single ad that has “universal appeal” are all but over. As the American population becomes more and more diverse, your messaging must adapt to a broader range of cultures if you want to reach your target market fully. Los Angeles alone is home to hundreds of distinct ethnic groups, with more than 185 languages spoken and more than half the population speaking a language other than English at home. Statistical trends show similar diversifying occurring in many other areas across the globe. Never has it been more important to clarify exactly who your audience is so you can craft specific advertising to reach them where they are. Let’sLet’s explore some reasons why.
There Are Many Subcultures within Cultures
Multicultural advertising digs much deeper than simply crafting different advertising for different languages or races. Using Los Angeles again as an example, at least 48 percent of the population is Hispanic/Latino. Still, within that demographic, we have Mexican, Argentinian, Columbian, Costa Rican, and dozens of other ethnicities, each with different psychology and worldviews. Even among English-speaking populations, Americans use words that mean something entirely different for British English-speakers and vice versa. Why would we consider it would be any less relevant among other language groups? Our advertising needs to be sensitive to cultural differences we might view as subtle but which are anything but subtle to the audiences we’re trying to reach.
Multi-Cultural Advertising Isn’t Just About Ethnicity
Effective marketing and advertising today don’t just account for ethnic distinctions but also generational ones. “Baby boomers” have a completely contrasting outlook on the world than Millennials. For example, the current teen/young adult demographic, “Gen Z,” responds to various stimuli differently than Millennials do. All three of these generations have significant buying power in America, and your messaging needs to understand these disparities to reach them effectively.
Don’t Forget Geographic Differences
Worldview isn’t just shaped by ethnic or generational culture; our environment also shapes it. Geographic location affects how people think and respond; so does the community—the people we live around. These experiences are why people of a particular culture can react differently to the same advertising in different parts of the country—and sometimes even between two zip codes in the same city! Effective multicultural advertising will also be sensitive to these differences.
Although it may not be necessary for your brand to reach every demographic, it can still be a daunting task to clarify your target audience, given all the multicultural factors involved today. Understanding these cultural and generational nuances is where Wicked Bionic can help. We specialize in precise multicultural marketing, relying on deep data and 30+years of experience to create appropriate messaging for the people you want to reach. Take a look at our portfolio for more examples of our work and how we can help you make an impact in your advertising