Going Beyond Your Target Audience with Multicultural Outreach

As we mentioned earlier today, we paid a visit to the PromaxBDA event, where entertainment marketing is the big focus. This morning’s panel discussion, “Targeted Marketing: How to Affect Audience Uptick Through Inclusive Marketing” offered case studies that showed how major brands, Fox Broadcasting , Lifetime, and CNN among them, are reaching multicultural audiences.

Because of this year’s Census numbers, a lot of the discussion focused on how to target Hispanic audiences. However, targeting one group doesn’t mean you’re not reaching others. The examples presented showed how audiences don’t live in a cultural vacuum, and what works with one group may relate to others as well.

In one interesting example, Danny Mandelbaum, marketing brand director for Heineken, said a commercial that had been intended for Hispanic audiences (above) went over so well, it’s now being shown in countries around the world.

“Every guy wants to get the girl, but it has to be culturally relevant,” Mandelbaum said. The cultural relevance here was the need to get the date by first going through the family.

Saskia Sorrosa, senior director of marketing for the NBA, talked about how the organization actually changed its name to remain relevant.

Once called “NBA en Español,” the Hispanic effort is now called “éne•bé•a,” which phonetically spells the way Spanish speakers pronounce “NBA.” By listening to the audience, the organization realized that while Hispanics are big-time basketball fans and like to be recognized, they “don’t want to be singled out,” something that the previous name did.

The rebrand has taken place across platforms, with cross-promotions happening on the general market English-language platforms as well.

Photo: Fox

Joe Earley from Fox Broadcasting referred to American Idol, which coincidentally added new judge, Jennifer Lopez, at a time when the program was thinking about its outreach to Hispanic audiences. So, in addition to targeted advertising and messaging, the make up of its cast generates multicultural appeal. Lifetime SVP of marketing, creative, and brand strategy, Tim Nolan, said his network does the same. The cast of characters spread across its movies and programs reflects the multicultural world we live in.

Keisha Taylor, senior marketing manager for CNN and HLN focused on programming for African-Americans, including the popular “Blacks in America” series and coverage provided by Anderson Cooper, who Taylor said, has become a “trusted” source by diverse audiences, allowing the station to “dive into stories with cultural underpinnings.” Being true to the brand, tackling a wide range of stories, and making the correlation to the bottom line has been, according to Taylor, the key to the network’s success.

At the start, moderator Ola Kudu, creative director of Global Advertising Strategies, opened with a couple of interesting tidbits to chew on: In New York City, one in eight people is of Asian decent, and as a group Asians overindex in computer use. Also, the LGBT community is fiercely loyal to brands that appeal to that community. YouGov BrandIndex found that, among the brands getting the most LGBT loyalty are Google, Disneyland/Disney World, which has hosted Gay Day for 20 years, and Whole Foods.