While Love of Family Is Universal, Representation Must Be Nuanced

Family is a commonly shared value across diverse segments, but that doesn’t mean it’s one-size-fits-all. Read on to understand the nuances within multicultural family life for authentic representation and effective connection on the path towards Cultural Fluency.

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Human beings are social by nature – this is universally true. No matter our background, we all crave connection. We value family and anchor our lives to our loved ones.

Our research confirms that family matters to pretty much everyone, but our data also reveals: how is family experienced and expressed differently across cultural backgrounds?

These subtleties aren’t just food for thought – getting them right matters. Multicultural Americans, especially Black and Unacculturated Hispanic consumers, say it matters a lot to them that advertisements represent families that look like theirs. And a fifth of Americans, especially Black consumers, want to see more non-traditional family structures represented.

How should brands activate on the shared value of family connection?

Brands must understand nuances in multicultural family dynamics to accurately represent and connect with these powerful segments. In doing so, you’re not only pleasing consumers – you’re taking a strategic approach to be Culturally Fluent.

Authentic representation of one segment doesn’t come at the cost of resonance with other segments. In fact, genuine cultural signals are what resonates. Even if the cues aren’t personally relatable, the recognition of authenticity is priceless. An accurate portrayal of one segment is a way to position your brand as trustworthy and respected by all consumers.

Collage Group’s 2020 research initiatives dive deep into family values, attitudes, and behaviors to distinguish variations across segments and uncover authentic details. Keep reading for high-level segment takeaways and download the deck for more, including family profiles by segment.

1. Which consumers value the role of song, music and dance in the family?

About a third of Hispanic and Black Americans value the role of song, music, and dance in the family. These activities are ways to bond with one another and are also likely to be present at family gatherings.

For instance, Oreo acknowledges the lively nature of Hispanic American families with a relevant portrayal of the importance of song and dance in family life. Their recent spot features Latin pop singer Becky G video-chatting her brother. They connect over a shared love of music – and Oreos – as they sing and dance over the phone with her extended family in the background.

Our AdRate research shows that this ad successfully represents the Hispanic experience of the universal Group Trait of Family, while simultaneously resonating across segments (including White viewers). The music-and-dance-filled ad did exceptionally well with the Hispanic segment, with an A-CFQ score of 81 (+6 points above the resonance threshold of 75), as well as the Black segment (A-CFQ score of 74). But the power of authentically representing the Hispanic family was appreciated by other segments, too, with A-CFQ scores of 73 for the Asian segment and 72 for the White segment. Even though the ad was in Spanish, consumers recognize and appreciate the cultural cues of singing and dancing as relevant to Hispanic families.

2. How do Unacculturated Hispanic and Asian American consumers value family?

Both segments like to make their families proud and live in accordance with familial expectations. They also tend to be especially loyal to their families and prize their input when making decisions.

This spot by Chase leans into Asian Americans’ desire to please their elders. A son is learning to make noodles from scratch, and along the way seeks guidance from his mother and approval from his grandmother.

3. How often do multicultural consumers spend time with family?

Multicultural Americans tend to have more relatives and be closer to distant relatives than White Americans. Moreover, Hispanic and Black segments spend more time with their relatives and are more likely to build close relationships with them than White Americans are.

Connect across segments through this common value and illustrate how your brand can strengthen family ties. For instance, a recent Christmas spot by Etsy shows a Black family gathered for the holiday. The son’s new boyfriend joins the celebration, but feels intimidated by all the relatives, until they warmly “welcome him to the family” with a personalized gift.

For more insights on the study, download an excerpt of the sample above. Learn more about membership, custom research and more by filling out the form below. 

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