Insights from the ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference | Marketing Maestros | Blogs | ANA

Insights from the ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference

October 27, 2021

By Bill Duggan


The ANA just held our Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference, presented by SXM Media. This was our 23rd annual conference, and my 22nd! Below are my takeaways for select sessions.

Marc Pritchard, chief brand officer at P&G: Marc talked about being both "concerned" and "excited" about the state of multicultural marketing. "Concerned" that many in the industry are still missing out; as he said, "This is not new and we have well-entrenched habits that we have to break." But "excited" because he identified multicultural marketing as "the single biggest growth opportunity that we will ever see."

Antonio Escalona, SVP and GM, Hispanic business unit at Pepsico: Iconic brands have purpose at their core. Be a brand activist to unleash that purpose.

Fabricia de Silva, multicultural marketing manager at Brown-Forman: The best campaigns connect on a deep level – at the intersection of authenticity and culture.

Steve Keller, sonic strategy director, Studio Resonate at SXM Media: The advertising/marketing industry needs to understand that racism isn't just a visual or textual issue. It's a sonic issue as well. These sonic color lines impact our marketing and messaging decisions, amplifying white voices, and creating an atmosphere where Black voices are forced to adapt in order to be heard. Crossing these sonic color lines requires us to retrain the way we listen, to diversify the sonic spaces we inhabit, and to change the creative choices we're making that serve to perpetuate systemically racist sonic structures. Brands are encouraged to have Black voices represent at least 15 percent of their total voice over roster.

Beryl Chung, creative director and Vanessa Lai, creative director at Media.Monks: The same principles that drive empathy can also drive communication strategy – perspective taking, staying out of judgment, recognizing emotion in others, and communicating back the emotion you see.

Heather Stewart, general director, global media and marketing services at General Motors: GM has the aspiration to be the most inclusive company in the world. That includes doing business with the diverse-owned media community. When working with diverse-owned media companies, it's all about listening, relationships and understanding each other.

Mimi Dixon, senior director, marketing at Crayola: Guiding principles for new product development are transparency, credibility, and authenticity.

Sherina Smith, VP of marketing at American Family Insurance: The industry perpetuates that it's hard to find diverse people ... but we are here! Go beyond your comfort zone to recognize, recruit and empower the best talent.

Dell Ng, VP, head of cultural and diversity marketing at U.S. Bank: Diversity, equity, and inclusion are part of everything we do including workplace and culture (to attract, engage, retain and promote diverse talent), the marketplace (to cultivate diverse customers), supplier diversity (to capture diverse suppliers), and the community (to enhance reputation and make meaningful impact).

And some "fun statistics" cited:

  • Census results confirm that the United States is more diverse than ever – the multicultural population is now 42 percent.
  • 100 percent of population growth in the past ten years was attributable to multicultural consumers.
  • By 2028, the U.S. Census estimates that the majority of Americans under 35 years old will represent a new majority.
  • The share of ad spend in African-American, Black, and Hispanic targeted media pales in comparison to their share of the population. Black people make up 12 percent of population and 1.5 percent share of ad spend. Hispanic people are 19 percent of population and 5.9 percent of ad spend.
  • 75 percent of consumers expect brands to take public stances on DEI in their ads.

Special thanks to Gilbert Davila (DMI Consulting) and Elizabeth Campbell (McDonald's) for a superb job hosting the event! Finally, congrats to Pfaff Harley-Davidson and its agency Zulu Alpha Kilo for winning the "Best of Show" award in the 2021 ANA Multicultural Excellence Awards for the "Tough Turban" campaign.

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