The face of America is changing — Gen Z is the most multicultural generation to date. We’ve explained in a previous post why your general market message isn’t making the cut (because it fails to include the unique cultures, values, languages, communication styles, and media consumption habits of millions of multicultural Americans).
But just because you understand how important a multicultural marketing strategy is doesn’t mean that it’s easy to create one and land among the best diversity ads out there. To put it all in context, here are a few multicultural marketing examples from brands that got their multicultural marketing campaigns right.
What is diversity marketing?
Diversity marketing refers to any marketing strategy that recognizes the differences within the subgroups of a target market, including: age, gender, disability, religion, ethnicity, and sexual identity.
Multicultural marketing, more specifically, refers to a marketing strategy that recognizes the differences in culture and ethnicities of a target market.
Successful inclusive marketing campaigns aim to break advertising norms by highlighting people or groups that may be under- or misrepresented. Accurate representation allows for your target consumers to feel seen, heard, and understood — and enables them to trust your brand and personally identify with your products.
Keep reading for some of the best diversity marketing examples — and why they work.
Adobe - "When I See Black"
Adobe has always prided itself on being the tool for creators, and this ad focuses on the next generation of Black creators and how they see themselves.
“When I see Black? I see power.” The ad highlights the work of twelve Black creators: Esther Luntadila, Crystal Kayiza, Temi Coker, Barry Yusufu, Devin Wesley, Aurélia Durand, Shani Crowe, Yannis GuiBinga, Asia Hall, Lawrence Agyei, Ismail Zaidy and Joshua Kissi. Each respond to the prompt over the soundtrack of Gregory Porter’s “Revival”. The powerful conclusion? “Black creativity can’t be painted in a single stroke.”
In a statement from Adobe, Anne Lewnes, executive vice president and chief marketing officer says, “Seeing creators like yourself, especially for this next generation, is absolutely crucial. We are proud to be celebrating the vibrant spectrum of creativity that exists in the world, because we all benefit when more perspectives are shared.”
Coca Cola - “America Is Beautiful”
This 2014 pre-Superbowl multicultural advertising campaign example from Coca Cola provides an excellent example of diversity marketing done well. It features a culturally and racially diverse cast singing a multi-language rendition of “America the Beautiful” to represent the changing face of America.
The ad begins with shots depicting the wide array of areas in America — the Pacific Ocean, Chinatown in New York City, the plateaus of Utah — striking a nostalgic tone as it painted a picture of diverse communities from all over the country. In the background, different voices sing “America the Beautiful” in different languages. Following its launch, the ad became the #1 trending topic on Facebook following the Superbowl and a prime example of successful cross cultural advertising.
Proctor and Gamble - “The Talk”
P&G ads do more than promote their variety of cleaning and toiletry companies – they use their platform to tell powerful stories and spread messages about equality, have difficult conversations, and discuss topics related to diversity and identity.
One of the best advertising campaign examples of their multicultural marketing is the 2018 Emmy-winning ad entitled, “The Talk”. Hard-hitting and relevant, the ad (corresponding with P&G’s “Black is Beautiful” and “Proud Sponsor of Moms” initiatives) depicts the universal talk African American mothers have with their children about racism.
One mother tells her son, “There are some people who think you don’t deserve the same privileges just because of what you look like. It’s not fair. It’s not.” Another mother tells her daughter that, “Beautiful for a black girl” is not a compliment. “You are beautiful, period,” she says.
The ad ends with text in all caps, stating, “LET’S ALL TALK ABOUT ‘THE TALK’ — SO WE CAN END THE NEED TO HAVE IT”. This ad doesn’t shy away from tough conversations – in fact, it opens the door on the closed-door conversations happening in African American families across the United States in order to connect with consumers.
P&G’s Global Communications Director, Damon Jones told AdAge in an interview that, “We know that bias is not just an African American issue. It’s an issue that takes on many shapes and forms, across gender, race, age, weight, sexual orientation, and more.”
Fenty Beauty - “Beauty for All”
Rihanna’s brand, Fenty, is all but synonymous with authentic inclusive marketing, created on the foundation that everyone woman is beautiful and should feel included. In 2017, Fenty Beauty launched 40 shades of foundation, and that has since grown to 50. Chaédria LaBouvier wrote in Allure that Fenty Beauty’s sheer number of foundation colors is “a statement that women of color deserve complex options”.
Rihanna shared that, “It’s important to me that every woman feel included in this brand.” Once this campaign launched, it had a ripple effect called “The Fenty Effect”, a movement calling for brands to challenge the status quo in advertising by creating ads that are diverse and inclusive.
Bumble - “Find Me on Bumble”
You don’t have to create a particular story in your multicultural campaign to nail multicultural marketing. Sometimes, a winning multicultural strategy entails showing off your wide range of real-life customers. That’s exactly what Bumble’s “Find Me on Bumble” campaign did, through highlighting and celebrating a number of their inspiring and diverse users in the New York City area.
The video begins by saying that, “Every connection you make on Bumble is an opportunity to meet someone who can impact your life. Inspiring people are everywhere. We wanted to celebrate them.”
What follows are short clips of Bumble’s highlighted users sharing bits and pieces of their stories, including a political operative, an entrepreneur, an opera singer, and a model/activist. At one point, a dentist says, “I love that there’s such a variety of different people here. Living in New York, you still get to meet people from all over the world.”
This campaign is a great example of how a brand can market its existing diversity as one of its biggest assets. Instead of relying on stock imagery or models, Bumble highlights the real group of people you can find on its platform.
Read next: The Power of Print in Political Advertising
Adidas “Here to Create”
“Calling all creatives.” The Adidas ad cuts to a roundtable of well-known, diverse celebrities including Pharrell Williams, Aaron Rodgers, Lionel Messi, Von Miller, and many more.
“I think what we’re all trying to do is leave a mark.” In this advertising campaign example, Adidas quite literally brings masters of their crafts to the table to talk about the interplay between creativity and diversity. “We’re all creators, related by a mindset. It’s not about borders, gender, or race. We’re here to create”. And that’s what Adidas is able to successfully tap into with this digital marketing campaign — the mindset that unites people across industries, gender, race, politics, sexual orientation, age, and ability.
There’s a fine line between a multicultural marketing campaign that resonates with and influences your target audience, and one that offends and alienates them. Contact us today for your customized multicultural marketing strategy.