Ad 2’s 2nd Annual Diversity Dialogue, part 2

Welcome back! And now I can share with you some interesting tidbits that I learned from the panelists!

One of the questions asked by the audience was which brands are getting it right in terms of marketing to diverse audiences and which ones are not.

Wilson Camelo, CMO of Bauza & Associates, told the story of McDonald’s and how originally, their marketing budget to target Hispanics was only 10%, because back then, 10% of the US population was Hispanic.  Then, when they started data-mining who actually went into McDonald’s, they found that 30% of their customers were Hispanic, so they increased their budget to that.  And in terms of the actual marketing communication efforts, McDonald’s looks to minority trends and tastes and takes them to the general market.  Click here to learn more about their efforts.  It’s an old article from 2010, but it still highlights the effort they have taken at including everyone, as well as segmenting everyone a bit more respectfully.

A company that has been getting some heat lately for being disrespectful is Samsung, explained David Brim, founder of Brand Advance.  Samsung recently debuted its Galaxy S4 phone on Broadway and at 42:42 of the program, they decided to combine the movie Bridesmaids with the TV show Sex and the City to showcase the phone.  But because of time constraints we only got to see the base characters that were more stereotypes that got a lot of people in the Twittersphere incensed.  While, in my opinion, the whole show was awkward and the acting not spectacular, 42:42 and beyond was really insensitive.  As one of the panelists said, “Image is not the same as identity,” and the images of the women they used were so stereotypical and cliched.  To form your own opinion, read the opinion of another, and to see the awesomeness of the phone (I am not paid to say that), click here.

Another example of a company getting a culture wrong was provided by Shally Wong, Owner of Asian Trend.  She said that after 8 years of being open in Hong Kong, Disney’s Magic Kingdom is finally pulling a small profit.  With no Asian people on their board or as decision makers, they opened the Kingdom thinking that everyone would love the mouse and flock to it.  What no one realized was that when Asians visit Disney World, they first visit EPCOT because education is a higher priority over entertainment.  If Disney had built one of those instead, they wouldn’t have had a problem.  They failed to eliminate their own considerations and truly look at their customer and so they unfortunately have had a really hard time recouping their costs.

The final speaker, Joshua Johnson, creator of Learn Everywhere, had a different approach to understanding the importance of diversity, the economic side.  He, as well as Mr. Camelo, talked about the need for the “diversity of thought” in a company, and how its absence can lead to stagnation and possible failure.  Mr. Johnson said, “you have to embrace diversity in order to receive income,” and Mr. Camelo said that you should embrace diversity in your business and in your marketing strategy because “money is the same color.”



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