Cultural Fluency Summit: How Brands Can Navigate Polarization to Engage Diverse America

In partnership with Disney Advertising, on Oct. 30, 2023, in NYC, we’ll unveil our annual “America Now” report and much more.

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September 27, 2023
David Evans – Chief Insights Officer

The 2023 annual update to our signature “America Now” research reveals that brands have finally begun the long-awaited turnaround in sentiment among diverse Americans. But even as it’s clear that much more needs to be done to authentically engage these segments, our research shows that a meaningful percentage of Americans (mostly but by no means all older White people) has become increasingly mobilized to backlash against much of this progress. Bud Light and Target have now become the touchstones of the so-called “anti-woke” sentiment that no brand can afford to ignore. And all this is happening in a world in which the advent of generative AI could radically deepen our societal divisions.

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America Now: Increasing the Return on Engaging Diverse Segments in a Time of Polarization

Our 2023 Cultural Fluency Summit will spotlight what diverse America wants from brands on the issues that matter, as we head into the hot electoral season of 2024. This keystone presentation will reveal the changing importance of personal identity and how it factors into brands relationships. We also cover how consumers want brands to activate around major socio-cultural issues including race relations, abortion, climate change, LGBTQ+ rights, and generative AI, among other topics. For the first time, we will examine the role of political orientation across different segments to break through default assumptions of diverse segment beliefs and values. 

Overcoming the Backlash Risk: Lessons Learned from Diverse-Segment Focused Ads that Polarize Consumers

Using insights gleaned from our proprietary CultureRate database of ad and brand performance, we explore the phenomenon of backlash. This year, like no other, has seen consumers mobilize in ever increasing numbers on both sides to place brands at risk when dealing with sensitive issues like LGBTQ+ pride, trans identity and women’s rights. But how big is backlash and what should brands do? We provide a framework to define the “backlash terrain” and go deep into a handful of exemplars to derive powerful lessons learned.

Attendees will walk away with clear insights into the transformation of America now and the strategies brands need to win diverse audiences while reducing the risk of backlash. You’ll also learn how to build creative that connects with specific segments while embracing the broader mainstream.

Contact us today to learn how you can gain access to this event, as well as the full research and more in our world-class Cultural Intelligence Platform.

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David Evans

David Evans

David serves as the Chief Insights Officer responsible for all syndicated content and thought leadership. He is passionate about leading the teams that reveal insights into consumers that can transform the fortunes of our members, make these actionable in our products and experience, and build great places to work. Before joining Collage Group in 2018, David served in a variety of senior roles in data, analytics and syndicated research organizations, including Cushman & Wakefield as Strategic Advisor, CoStar Group as Vice President of Research, and the White House where he founded the Office of Executive Councils in 2011. From 1998 to 2009, he worked at the Corporate Executive Board (now Gartner), serving ultimately as Chief Researcher for a $100 million division covering eight major business units. David holds a Diploma (M.Arch equivalent) from the Architectural Association in London and an M.B.A. from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. Before pursuing a business career, David worked as an architect in the UK, France and Germany, and published and exhibited widely. David was born in London to American and Canadian parents. He lives in Bethesda with his wife Juliette Searight and younger Generation Alpha daughter, while avidly following his older Generation Z daughter’s journey into adulthood in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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