ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards Insights & Call for Entries

July 10, 2012

By Bill Duggan

Recently the advertising industry recognized its best via the Effie Awards and Cannes Lions. Congratulations to all the winners! The industry awards next up are the ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards as the call for entries is now open.

The ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards celebrate the year's preeminent multicultural advertising campaigns. The awards were created 12 years ago to help raise awareness and recognition for the outstanding work being done in the areas of African American, Asian, Hispanic, and LGBT advertising. This year's award recipients will be announced at the ANA's 14th annual Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference October 28-30 in Miami.

Just two years ago the conference offered a session that provided insights and best practices for developing great multicultural advertising based on reviews of past ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards winners and input from industry marketing and creative leaders. Some highlights follow.

  • Humor: Humor can be effective in multicultural marketing but it needs to be integrated with the brand, product or service and be put in the relevant cultural context. Not just humor for the sake of a joke. 
  • Music: Music is one of the strongest passion points for African Americans and Hispanics. These two communities wake up with music and go to sleep with music. Music is an escape, it is a means of expression and it is definitely a point of connection from generation to generation. 
  • Community: There has always been a strong sense of community within many multicultural segments. They are always intuitively aware that they are part of a larger community and that the larger community is a part of them. As a marketer, it is important to understand the importance of community. Because when we speak to one community member we are always indirectly speaking to everyone. 
  • Authenticity: The multicultural consumer has a very sensitive internal BS meter. If it’s not real, they will know it immediately and will tune out the communication.
  • Sports: Like humor, for sports to be really effective it needs to be integrated with the brand, product or service. For the Hispanic segment, with so many representative cultures, acculturation levels, demographics and geographies, fútbol/soccer can act as a great unifier. For African Americans, sports icons did more than just fuel America’s passion for winning. Early sports figures like Jackie Robinson revolutionized race relations in the U.S. Black athletes are a symbol of success for the African-American community. For Asians, sports stars such as Jeremy Lin and Michelle Wie convey achievement and accomplishment; and can be effective when targeting a message to young adults.

The path to successful multicultural advertising includes developing rich human insights that lead to strong emotional connections with consumers. Humor, music, community, authenticity, and sports can help make those emotional connections.

Good luck with the ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards. The deadline for submissions is August 13. Click here for more details.  

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