How Great Brands Are Engaging and Celebrating Hispanic Culture

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How Great Brands Are Engaging and Celebrating Hispanic Culture

Collage Group Hosts Univision, Toyota, Publicis Media, Bimbo Bakeries and UnitedHealthcare for Hispanic Heritage Month Discussion & Celebration

From leadership and literature to music and art, Hispanic Americans have made substantial contributions to shaping the rich cultural fabric of the United States. At the launch of National Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15 – Oct. 15, 2021, Collage Group is honored to have hosted nearly 200 marketing and insights professionals for a special virtual event. We were joined by five brand leaders to share insights and ideas for brands to recognize and celebrate Hispanic culture.

Fill out the form to watch a replay of the presentation and panel discussion, and download an excerpt of the insights:

Collage Group Chief Product Officer David Evans started off the event with insights on the demographic profile and cultural traits of the Hispanic consumer, as well as insights form our just-released Holidays & Occasions work specific to Hispanic Heritage Month.

David’s presentation was followed by a conversation with Collage Group member panelists moderated by David Wellisch, Collage Group CEO and Co-Founder. Panelists included:

    • • Roberto Ruiz, Univision, EVP of Research, Insights & Analytics
    • • Erika Caldwell, Toyota, Multicultural Brand and Marketing Lead
    • • Arnetta Whiteside, Publicis Media, VP, Research and Knowledge Management, Cultural Quotient
    • • Pepe Gil, Bimbo Bakeries USA, Marketing Director
    • • Anne Gowen, UnitedHealthcare, Senior Director of Marketing, Medicare & Retirement Marketing team

Panelists answered key questions about their challenges and successes in authentically engaging and supporting Hispanic Americans, including:

Q1: The Hispanic community has grown substantially during the past decade and now represents nearly 19% of the U.S. population, or more than 62 million consumers.

    • • For our media and agency panelists: how has this growth impacted the ways in which brands are prioritizing and engaging Hispanic consumers?
    • • And for our brand panelists: how has your brand evolved to effectively engage all Hispanic consumers across language spectrum and country of origin?

Q2: What challenges has your brand faced with engaging this fast-growing, impactful consumer segment, and how have you worked to address them?

    • • For our media and agency panelists: what are the most significant challenges that brands are currently facing in effectively and efficiently engaging the Hispanic consumer?
    • • For our brand panelists: what are the most significant challenges that brands are currently facing in effectively and efficiently engaging the Hispanic consumer?

Q3: What efforts to support the Hispanic community on issues such as jobs, health care, racial and ethnic inequality and immigration have you seen from your company during the past six months?

Q4: What do you think the Hispanic community – and the majority of Americans – are looking for from brands?

Q5: Tell us about the efforts you are undertaking to celebrate Hispanic culture during Hispanic Heritage Month?

Fill out the form above to watch the replay and find out how these brand leaders responded.

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Without Cultural Fluency, Brands Risk Major Backlash from Ads

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Without Cultural Fluency, Brands Risk Major Backlash from Ads

Effective ads require cultural fluency, the ability to use culture to efficiently and effectively connect across consumer segments.

The Challenge

Conventional ad testing poses challenges with legacy norms and sample bias and can exacerbate a cultural disconnect between your brand and the consumers you need to engage for growth.

The Opportunity

Built on a framework of a deep understanding of the cultural and emotional influences that inform how consumers from diverse backgrounds process ads, CultureRate:Ad helps you connect across culture.

If done incorrectly, advertising can create Backlash, which we define as flipping perception from positive to negative, creating a substantial decline in Brand Favorability. According to our CultureRate:Ad research, a startling 20-25% of consumers experience a “flip” in perception after watching just one ad. Our measurement of Backlash, combined with other metrics, can reveal characteristics of your ad that could be harmful to your brand.

This is a common challenge by leading brands. Read on for several examples of consumer backlash resulting from ads that missed the cultural mark.

Jeep | Winter 2021

Washington Post
With the attack on the U.S. Capitol only a month prior to the airing of this ad, emotions were high – fear, and anger, and joy – and all still fresh in the public consciousness. Calls by Jeep for unity and “the middle” were panned as “late” and “tone-deaf.”

Featuring Bruce Springsteen, a working-class hero of days gone by, the somber embrace of nostalgia didn’t seem to be an answer to the challenges of “the road ahead.” While it may have been intended as heartfelt, especially coming from the Boss, the dissonance between tone and message seemed to offer more confusion than reconciliation for Americans across all political persuasions. The ad was eventually pulled, following consumer backlash combined with a Springsteen drunk driving scandal.

Twitch | September 2020
In its attempt to celebrate the Hispanic community during Hispanic Heritage Month, Twitch was heavily criticized for their campaign launching “stereotypical” emotes and spotlighting primarily English-speaking streamers. The streaming community responded with outrage. Within three hours, Twitch apologized saying they “missed the mark” and removed the emotes from the platform.

Peloton | Fall 2019

New York Times
With an ad widely criticized as “sexist and dystopian,” Peloton effectively tanked their stock by nearly $1.5 billion. The ad features a woman who received an exercise bike from her partner as a Christmas gift. She’s inspired to record a video diary of her new exercise routine, which she says, “changed her.” Critics slammed the ad as “offensive” and “damaging” calling attention to the fact that she was thin at the beginning of the ad, and implying her partner was patronizing for telling her to get fitter and lose weight.

Dolce & Gabbana | Winter 2018

Fast Company
In a failed attempt at a gaffe, a D&G ad featured a confused Asian woman attempting to eat spaghetti with chopsticks. Dressed in a red, European style dress the ad subtly suggested that while the woman embraces European fashion, she’s too stupid to truly understand European culture. Chinese consumers took to social media (Weibo), calling the ad offensive, racist and deliberately misrepresenting their country as a third-world nation.

Pepsi | Spring 2017

New York Times
With borrowed imagery from the Black Lives Matter movement, Pepsi failed in its attempt “to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding”. The ad, featuring Kendall Jenner, shows attractive young people smiling, laughing, dancing, and clapping at a public demonstration. Supported by cheers and applause from the crowd, Jenner, a white woman, gives a grinning police officer a can of Pepsi. Social media erupted with criticism accusing Pepsi of “appropriating imagery to sell its product, while minimizing the danger protesters encounter and the frustration they feel.” Within a day of airing the ad, Pepsi immediately pulled it and offered a public apology.

Answering the Challenge

While connecting across diverse consumer cultures certainly comes with challenges, there is good news. You don’t have to risk spending millions on an ad campaign that generates Backlash and causes harm to your brand, and even your company’s stock price. Collage Group’s CultureRate:Ad offers brands a superior way to assess the cultural fluency and resonance of ads. 

CultureRate:Ad measures ad performance using a proprietary metric, the Ad Cultural Fluency Quotient. With a deep oversample of diverse Americans, brand leaders get rich insight into how consumers process ads across race and ethnicity, generation, sexual orientation, gender, and other factors. Brand leaders use CultureRate:Ad and CultureRate:Brand to build cultural fluency, the capability to drive total market growth from inclusive, diverse-led marketing.

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Top CultureRate Scores Reveal Category Insights

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Top CultureRate Scores Reveal Category Insights

Top CultureRate Ad and Brand scores reveal both top-performers and provide crucial context for category-wide Cultural Fluency.

CultureRate:Ad and Brand measures Cultural Fluency through a key metric we call the Cultural Fluency Quotient (CFQ) score. CFQ scores are designed to specifically to measure cultural resonance across segments for both ads (A-CFQ) and brands (B-CFQ). To do so, we have tested a multitude of components to accurately measure cultural resonance and ensure that a higher CFQ score is an indication of higher purchase intent and brand favorability.

Ultimately, CFQ scores are a crucial way for you to gauge your own brand or ad’s cultural fluency and to take stock of the cultural fluency of your in-category competitors.

In addition to individual CultureRate reports, top CFQ score reports are now available for Collage Group members, and provide industry-specific data. Each report includes overall category CFQ rankings by consumer segment and acculturation, as well as Cultural Reach scores, aka how many segments with whom an ad or brand is resonant. Where robust sample is available, sub-category rankings are also included.

CultureRate:Ad Top Scores

CultureRate:Ad reports measure cultural fluency by gauging consumer sentiment across 4 key component areas: Brand Fit, Personal Relevance, Important Messaging, and Enjoyment. Component scores are weighed and combined to create an Ad Cultural Fluency Quotient (A-CFQ) score. The A-CFQ score gives members crucial insights into their brand’s resonance across multiple consumer segments, as well as where to focus strategies on improvement.

Collage Group assessed the top A-CFQ scores across twelve categories: alcohol, auto, beverage (non-alcoholic), financial services, food, health care, home care, media, personal care, QSR, technology, and travel.

CultureRate:Brand Top Scores

CultureRate:Brand reports measure the cultural fluency of a brand. Our B-CFQ scores gauge consumer sentiment across 6 key component areas: Product Fit, Personal Relevance, Brand Trust, Memories, Advocacy, and Shared Values. The B-CFQ score gives members crucial insights into their brand’s resonance across multiple consumer segments, as well as where to focus strategies on improvement.

Collage Group assessed B-CFQ for brands across fifteen categories: alcohol, apparel, auto, beverage (non-alcoholic), financial services, food, health care, home care, media, personal care, QSR, retail, technology, telecom, and travel.

Variation Across Categories

A review across the rankings also reveals trends across category in both A-CFQ and B-CFQ scores. Some categories like Media tend to have higher top scores while others such as Financial Services tend to possess lower scores. This, in and of itself, is an important insight. Categories with higher CFQ scores have the and advantage of built-in cultural resonance but may succumb to complacency and risk stagnation. Brands in categories with lower average CFQ scores may have to overcome intrinsic gaps in cultural fluency, but have a clear opportunity increase cultural fluency and stand out from competitors. Either way, our insight into Cultural Fluency can help your brand better connect with consumers across segment and produce more powerful ads.

If you would like to receive your own CultureRate:Ad or CultureRate:Brand report and learn more about the cultural fluency of your advertising, please contact us here.

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The 2020 Census: Three Things You Need to Know

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The 2020 Census: Three Things You Need to Know

The 2020 census data has arrived! And it shows that America is much more racially and ethnically diverse than we thought. Keep reading to learn more about this and other key insights.

Unless you’ve been taking a break from media for the past few days, you’ve probably heard the news: 2020 census data has arrived. And there’s a lot of interesting and potentially confusing information you need to understand. Below are three takeaways we think everyone should know.

1. The 10-year U.S. growth rate is at a 90-year low.

The U.S. population only grew 7.4% between 2010 and 2020. As Bill Frey of the Brookings Institute notes, this is the lowest 10 year growth rate since the 1930s. One component of lower overall growth is a decline in the Hispanic segment’s growth. This dropped to 23% this past decade, down a full 20 percentage points from the 2000-2010 rate of 43%.  The other driver of the decline—a shrinking white population.

2. The Non-Hispanic White population shrunk for the first time since the 10-year census started being conducted in 1790.

The Non-Hispanic White population lost about 5 million people in the 2010s, almost 2.6% of the segment’s 2010 population. This is primarily due to the aging of this population, as well as the increasing number of young Americans now identifying as multiracial. And that brings us to our third takeaway…

3. America is much more racially and ethnically diverse than we thought in 2010.

The big finding supporting this hypothesis is that the multiracial population jumped 276% over the past decade—from 9 million in 2010 to 33.8 million in 2020. Does this mean that there are 25 million more multiracial individuals living in the U.S. in 2020 than there were in 2010? No, and the reason why is that the way the 2020 census asked certain questions allows us to better understand America’s racial and ethnic makeup—both today and retrospectively. For example, the Hispanic/Latino origin question revised the nationalities it listed as example options to both reflect the largest populations in the U.S. and provide better geographic diversity. It also removed the word “origin” from the fourth option’s instructions. These two changes increase the likelihood that people will correctly identify as Hispanic or Latino.

The 2020 Census also made extensive changes to its race question. For instance, example origins were given for the White and Black or African American options, the word “Negro” was removed from the Black or African American option, and the Asian countries of origin were ordered to reflect U.S. population sizes. Finally, the 2020 Census changed its coding practices, allowing researchers to capture more information from individual responses.

The practical upshot here is that we get a better picture of how people self-identify in terms of race and ethnicity. And this is how we have come to understand that America is actually much more diverse than we thought it was 10 years ago. The revised questions most likely account for a significant portion of the changes we see in the 2020 racial and ethnic population counts. Another consequence, though, of the revised questions is that comparisons between 2010 and 2020 race and ethnicity counts are not “one-to-one” and require considerable caveats.

A final point to keep in mind—the 2020 Census only includes a limited number of variables on Americans.

Collage Group primarily utilizes the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) data for its demographic tabulations, as the ACS includes a much larger number of annually-updated variables. The next release of ACS data is slated for December 2021. We’ll be updating our demographic content as soon as this far more detailed data drops.

The 2020 census further clarifies that America is steadily growing towards greater cultural diversity. And this trend presents significant challenges – and opportunities – for brands and companies. Brands that deeply understand multicultural Americans will be well-positioned to connect with consumers across diverse segments. They will become culturally fluent organizations. But brands that fail to invest now in understanding and connecting with multicultural America will find themselves playing an increasingly challenging game of “catch up” and “I’m sorry” as they inevitably hit bumps in the road towards an increasingly multicultural America.

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