Case Study By Industry | Automotive

Divisional U.S. Revenue: $800 Million
Global Corporate Revenue: $100 Billion

Insight in Action: Leveraging Cultural and Emotional Factors to Engage Black Consumers

Learn how the world’s leading brands are applying Collage Group’s cultural insights to drive enhancements in advertising that improve cultural resonance.


The SUV division of a major global automotive OEM was struggling to activate higher-income Black consumers. The Director of Insights wanted category-specific attitude and purchase behavior data to weave a consumer-centric story and inform the creative brief for their ad agency.

Jeep driving dirt road towards mountains


Using Collage Group’s proprietary cultural intelligence platform, the automaker infused the creative brief with key insights on the Cultural Traits of the Black segment which linked to category specific behaviors and details. The Director developed a powerful brief that grounded high-value product attributes in “the why” of underlying cultural and emotional factors, enabling the agency to produce Culturally Fluent content.


Collage Group’s cultural intelligence proved critical to improving the brand’s advertising. Collage data and tools enabled the Director to ground category insights in an understanding of the cultural traits of the target consumer. Specific steps included:

Category-level detail is a useful, practical starting point for engaging key demographics.


Anchor strategy on Black consumer preferences for specific vehicle features.


Category Essentials – Automotive provided a range of useful insights into attitudes and product trade-offs, revealing unique preferences for engine performance, styling, entertainment features, GPS, and Wi-Fi.


Collage’s deep dive into cultural insights allowed brand leaders to interpret the category-level detail into a broader strategy and application of the insights.

Deep cultural insights allowed brand leaders to interpret category-level detail into a broader strategy and application.


  1. Evaluate the cultural resonance the automotive brand and recent ads with Black consumers.


CultureRate Analyses of the brand and recent ads revealed major weakness in brand appeal to Black consumers. These consumers were not attaching to the brand’s legacy appeal to Millennial and Gen X White consumers enthusiastic about the great outdoors.

2. Map the geography of Black experience.

Custom Market Profiler identified the geographies associated with higher-income Black consumers. These locations inform the selection of scenes more likely to be familiar to the Black segment.

3. Immerse in Black cultural experience

Webinars and presentations on Black Cultural Traits helped build empathy toward the segment with the Director’s team including key execs.

The team applied these insights to formulate useful hypotheses about feature preferences.

4. Lean into Passion Points that reveal where and how Black culture comes to life.

Webinars and Presentations on Black Passion Points revealed specific activities including sports, travel and fashion preferences that would inform creative decision-making.


Putting Insights Into Action

The Director was able to develop a powerful creative brief.

Instead of relying on a litany of disconnected insights into vehicle feature preferences of Black consumers, she developed a framework for a clean narrative with the following elements:

    • Build messaging around Ambition and Self-Expression themes instead of Adventure and Freedom.
    • Use sleek cityscapes instead of wild landscapes.
    • Associate vehicle use with specific sports, like weight training, instead of outdoor adventure like hiking.
    • Reframe “premium craftsmanship” as “style and luxury” to connect with the Self-Expression trait.
    • Appropriate Americana in ways that clearly highlight the leadership and contribution of Black people to American history, per the Ambition trait, and to the brand.
    • Cast Black Xennials (Gen Y/ Gen X) with multiculturally oriented friend groups, and drop empty nesters.

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