Case Study By Industry | National Public Radio

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Case Study By Industry | National Public Radio

CHALLENGE

NPR was founded 50 years ago with the mission to create a more informed public – one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures. This mission remains front and center, as NPR leadership recently challenged the organization to reach a new “North Star”: to diversify the NPR audience to reflect, serve and inspire America. With this focused purpose in mind, NPR’s audience insights team came to Collage Group to gain expertise quickly and in alignment across the enterprise.

SOLUTION

Collage Group partnered with NPR on a solution that would evaluate the perception of the brand among Multicultural consumers and identify key areas of growth opportunity. From there, NPR and Collage would dig deeper to unveil insights and define engagements to improve authentic engagement among key Multicultural segments.

Evaluation of the NPR brand on the CultureRate:Brand tool was one of the first steps taken by Collage Group to bring NPR closer to its goal of reflecting, serving and inspiring all Americans.

Fill out the form to ​watch our webinar, The “CultureRate” Brand and Ad Rating System: Five Lessons for Better Ads and Case Study featuring NPR.

NPR Webinar

CultureRate:Brand Evaluation

Through CultureRate:Brand, the NPR brand was evaluated on the Brand Cultural Fluency Quotient (B-CFQ), which measures how well brands are resonating with consumers. It assessed NPR along six key cultural dimensions: brand fit, relevance, memories, values, trust and advocacy. The B-CFQ Threshold then helped illuminate for NPR where they stood with diverse consumers.

“We were surprised and delighted to learn what we were doing well through the CultureRate report,” says Lori Kaplan, NPR’s Senior Director of Audience Insights. “The report also enabled us to dig deeper into the areas where we still had work to do. For us, this was specifically within the Hispanic and Black communities.”

Based on the B-CFQ, NPR performed well among relevance, trust, advocacy and values. The team was able to leverage this data–combined with an earlier CultureRate:Ad study that revealed existing creative was not resonating among Multicultural audiences–as a jumping point for commissioning an additional, qualitative research project. What followed was a study that unveiled how NPR could emerge as a “go to” media source across Multicultural consumer groups. Further, it helped them understand why they were falling behind within some Multicultural consumer segments.

RESULTS

NPR Mobile App exampleAs a result of the CultureRate:Brand evaluation and custom qualitative research study, NPR was able to answer a key question, “What do audiences want?”

“The research found that Multicultural audiences want to be heard,” says Kaplan. “They want to know that NPR is for them. And, they will see their experiences in our shows and content.”

To respond to this insight, NPR developed new ad creative concepts that Collage Group Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) evaluated for resonance among Multicultural audiences. The final product was the development of a podcast advertising campaign intended to appeal across Multicultural consumer segments with the tagline “More Voices. All Ears.” The campaign aims to illustrate listening, reflecting and sharing across communities and cultures. Further, it incorporates bolder, more inclusive, authentic messages.

The Collage Group CultureRate:Ad study, which tested this “More Voices. All Ears” ad, demonstrated that the campaign raised brand favorability and intent to use among Hispanic, Black and Asian audiences. Complementary research showed that awareness of NPR rose significantly among Black and Hispanic audiences during the campaign period. A qualitative study underscores that the campaign piqued curiosity, stimulated senses and stirred imaginations and helped serve as a “welcome mat” into NPR podcasts. That said, the CultureRate:Ad study also highlighted areas for the marketing team to make the link to NPR stronger and to reduce points of confusion. These were useful learnings to infuse into the next iteration of the campaign. Further, the NPR team found such value in the CultureRate:Ad study that they will be testing several more ads for additional campaigns.

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Día de los Muertos 2021: What Should My Brand Do?

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Día de los Muertos 2021: What Should My Brand Do?

It’s not too late to activate! With over half of all Hispanic Americans (and two-thirds of Unacculturated) celebrating Día de los Muertos, brands will want to make their mark on this important holiday. Keep reading to learn what consumers expect from brands like yours this Day of the Dead.

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a traditional Latin-American holiday celebrating the lives of loved ones who have passed on. The holiday’s roots are predominantly Mexican, and celebrations take place on November 1st and 2nd. While Day of the Dead occurs around Halloween and may share some similar imagery such as skulls, these two holidays differ greatly and should not be conflated with one another.

Read on for key facts about the holiday, insights on how Hispanic American consumers celebrate, and ideas for how your brand can get involved.

What is Día de los Muertos?

Día de los Muertos is a two-day holiday honoring the deceased by celebrating the connection between life and death. What makes this occasion unique is its joyous—rather than mournful—tone. Celebrants gather together in remembrance of friends and family and have colorful parties and parades. They share happy or humorous memories. They make special meals and altars known as ofrendas (offerings) made up of their loved one’s favorite foods, items, pictures, and more. All of these traditions and symbolic gestures are meant to create a welcoming environment to attract the deceased’s spirits back to Earth on this annual occasion marked to keep their memory alive.

Traditions of Día de los Muertos

    • Ofrendas are offerings made to the dead and are built in the home or at the cemetery. They traditionally consist of paper cutouts (papel picado), marigold petals, pan de muerto pastry bread, and personal items, such as photographs, favorite foods, or other sentimental objects.
    • Skeletal imagery, such as the iconic La Catrina figure, show up in masks, puppets, colorful costumes, and face paintings.
    • Sugar skulls are a staple ornament during celebrations, often not meant to be eaten. Edible fare includes Mole Negro (pepper and chocolate sauce), Sopa Azteca (tortilla soup), and any foods favored by the deceased.

"(Spanish) We put up an altar with photographs of the loved ones who left and visit their graves, adorning them with flowers."

Unacculturated, Millenial, Man
Visiting gravesites and making alters (ofrendas) tops the list of ways Hispanic Americans, especially Bicultural and Unacculturated, celebrate Día de los Muertos. Decorating and having special foods and drinks are also central to the holiday. The Bicultural segment over-indexes on a few other celebratory activities, like having parties, watching special movies, and listening to special music.

Key Consumer Insights

According to Collage Group’s 2021 Holidays & Occasions study, 52% of all Hispanic Americans, and 15% of the total American population, celebrate Day of the Dead. When we look by acculturation, we see it’s most widely celebrated by the Unacculturated (67%) and Bicultural (54%) segments, especially when compared to the Acculturated segment’s celebration rates which hover at 29%.

Día de los Muertos celebrations are both deeply personal and communal. So many brands may be wondering if they have permission to play.

From the celebrants’ perspective, brands generally have the green light. A plurality of Hispanic Americans (32%) say that all brands and companies should celebrate Day of the Dead in their marketing. Bicultural (33%) and Unacculturated (42%) Hispanic segments are especially comfortable with brands activating, whereas Acculturated are least likely to care.

Americans of other races/ethnicities tend to be positive, indifferent, or unfamiliar with the holiday altogether. The good news is there’s little to no opposition across the board. This means that activating won’t cause backlash from other segments.

Brands that want to activate around Day of the Dead can do so in a way that’s well-received within the Hispanic segment (and simultaneously educational to other less familiar segments) by showcasing the holiday’s meaning and importance. This is the number one topic Hispanic Americans say brands should focus on. This type of messaging will be especially resonant with Bicultural and Unacculturated groups that are strongly rooted to their culture and proud to express their heritage.

One brand that’s developed an excellent educational campaign on Día de los Muertos is McCormick in partnership with Poderistas. Part of the campaign includes a landing page with well-researched facts about the history and significance of the holiday.

To learn more about Día de los Muertos, we suggest the following sources:

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Change is Now: A Special Video Presentation

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Change is Now: A Special Video Presentation

For years, multicultural Americans have driven all the country’s population growth and have added trillions of dollars to the U.S. economy. These changes can be seen everywhere from food and media to healthcare and financial services, and so much more.

Cultural Fluency is the key to authentically connect with American consumers across race and ethnicity. But, engaging multicultural consumers is only the starting point. Cultures evolve through generational change and forces encompassing how we identify ourselves, including gender, sexuality, family structures and much more.

Navigating these changes can be challenging, even for the most seasoned and culturally aware brands. In fact, no single marketer can speak well to every segment without understanding the incredible transformation of the American consumer.

For more than a decade, Collage Group has helped 200+ iconic American brands engage, support, and champion the voices of America’s diverse consumers. Explore our new video series to learn how you too can unleash the power of culture to drive brand growth.

Fill out the form below to connect with our Sales team learn how you can get started on your path to Cultural Fluency.

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Media Consumption Across Gender

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Media Consumption Across Gender

Media is a major aspect of American life. Whether it’s social media, visual entertainment, or audio content, Americans spend a significant amount of time and attention in the media sphere. American’s focus on media presents an awesome opportunity for brands to connect with consumers. But to do this efficiently and effectively, brands need to understand where people are going to consume media content, and why they’re going there.

  • Are they following specific topics?
  • Are they following influencers?
  • Are they looking for products to purchase?
  • Are they just killing time?
  • Is it device dependent?
  • Does it depend on the race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender of the characters or hosts?

Collage Group’s 2021 Media Study answers these questions. Our research reveals the specific platforms media users go to by gender, and what they’re using them for. This research also dives deep into content and platform drivers, including topics of interest and what consumers value in the personalities (e.g., influencers, podcast hosts, characters) they interact with across social, visual, and audio media.

Below are a several key insights we unearthed about media consumption by gender.

Fill out the form to view a sample from our research on attitudes and behaviors around Media Consumption by Gender.

Media Consumption by Gender

Social Media

Key Insight: Women visit social media sites to keep up with friends and family significantly more than men. However, women’s platform preferences vary by age.

About 9 in 10 women who use social media do so to keep in touch with family and friends. Overall, Facebook is the most popular platform for women staying in touch with people they know, but there are significant differences in platform preference between younger women (18-40) and older women (41-75). While 78% of older women primarily use Facebook as their main platform to stay connected with others, younger women use a more varied line up of platforms with their 2nd (Instagram) and 3rd (Snapchat) choices garnering substantially higher usage rates than older women’s respective preferences.

Women are More Likely to use Social Media than Men

​Visual Media

Key Insight: Compared to other consumers, younger women watch cable TV the least and stream video content the most.

While almost a third of older men and women still subscribe to cable and satellite TV, only about a quarter of younger women now pay for traditional TV services. While all groups are likely to use multiple visual streaming platforms to access the content their favorite content, younger women subscribe to more streaming platforms per person than both men their age and older consumers of any gender.

Younger Women are Using the Most Streaming Services

Audio Media

Key Insight: When choosing podcasts and radio shows, women prioritize relaxing content.

Over one third of women say they prefer podcasts that help them relax and forget about their worries. When it comes to choosing radio shows, even more women (43%) say that relaxation and providing a reprieve from worry is a primary consideration. In both cases, women are significantly more likely to use these criteria than men when selecting podcasts and radio shows.

Women Prioritize Podcast and Radio Shows that are Relaxing

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Close 2021 Strong with New Diverse Consumer Insights

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Close 2021 Strong with New Diverse Consumer Insights

More than 200 of America’s top brands have access to the deep cultural insights needed to engage America’s diverse consumers. Do you? Here’s a sampling of our latest reports that you’re missing out on. Contact us today for access:

America Now

Transform change into opportunity. This deep dive report explores changes to diverse consumer attitudes at a key transformational moment. Learn where there is no going back and build strategy for the future.

​Health and Wellness

Explore how consumer attitudes and behaviors toward health and wellness are evolving across diverse segments, from conceptions and wellbeing, barriers to access, provider preferences, and more.

Digital Media Consumption

Discover how Americans are consuming media / social media content and the evolution across consumer segments. These reports explore use of streaming services, non-English languages, and much more. Learn more in samples of our Digital & Media reports on race/ethnicity, generation and sexuality.

CultureRate:Brand & Ad

Assess the Cultural Fluency of your brand and ads and explore how you stack up vs. your competitors. Members of our consumer research platforms have access to a dedicated report on a brand or ad, which includes recommendations for a path forward to improve the rankings.

Category Essentials

Access semi-annual reports to keep up with America’s diverse consumers across race/ethnicity, age, sexuality and gender. These reports evaluate consumer attitudes and behaviors across 12 different consumer goods industries. New reports will be released that dig deeper into apparel and travel and hospitality.

Collage Group members have access to more than 10 years of consumer insights in over 300 studies with new data unveiled 3-to-4 times a month. As a member, you also get to the full reports recently released, including: Holidays & Occasions, Passion Points, and Cultural Traits. Contact us to learn more about membership. 

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LGBTQ+ Consumer Media Consumption

LGBTQ+ Consumer Media Consumption

Optimize your brand’s connection with LGBTQ+ consumers by understanding where they consume media content, and why they go where they do. Keep reading for key insights on social media, visual entertainment, and audio streaming, with downloadable deck and webinar replay.

Media is a major aspect of American life. Whether it’s social media, visual entertainment, or audio content, Americans spend a significant amount of time and attention in the media sphere. The time and attention spent on media presents an awesome opportunity for brands to connect with consumers. But to do this efficiently and effectively, brands need to understand where people are going to consume media content, and why they’re going there.

    • Are they following specific topics?
    • Are they following influencers?
    • Are they looking for products to purchase?
    • Are they just killing time?
    • Is it device dependent?
    • Does it depend on the race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender of the characters or hosts?

Collage Group’s 2021 Media Study answers these questions. Our research reveals the specific platforms LGBTQ+ media users go to, and what they’re using them for. The research also deep dives into content and platform drivers, including topics of interest and what consumers value in the personalities (e.g., influencers, podcast hosts, characters) they interact with across social, visual, and audio media.

Fill out the form to view a sample from our research on attitudes and behaviors around LGBTQ+ Consumer Media Consumption.

LGBTQ Consumer Media Consumption

Social Media

Key Insight: LGBTQ+ consumers are more comfortable making new friends online and are more likely to use social media to find community.

Community is essential to understanding LGBTQ+ consumer behavior online. Social media allows LGBTQ+ Americans to connect with other people who understand what they are going through and who can offer support. Social media also provides members of the segment the ability to share their stories and learn more about their identities. Because of the benefits that social media offers them, LGBTQ+ Americans are more likely to make friends online than Non-LGBTQ+ Americans, and more likely to consider those friendships just as important as “in real life” friendships.

Online Community Poll

Visual Media

Key Insight: LGBTQ+ viewers of all ages use significantly more streaming platforms per person, on average, than Non-LGBTQ+ viewers.​

While all groups are likely to use multiple visual streaming platforms to access the content they want to see, LGBTQ+ Americans use more platforms. Younger LGBTQ+ viewers use the most streaming platforms out of all the groups. They are also least likely to say that they feel overwhelmed by the number of platforms available nowadays.

LGTBQ Steaming Use Poll

Audio Media

Key Insight: When choosing podcasts and radio shows, LGBTQ+ listeners are more likely to prefer those with hosts who share their sexual identities.​

Four in ten younger LGBTQ+ Americans and three in ten older LGBTQ+ Americans say that it’s very important for podcast and radio hosts to share their sexual identities, significantly more than Non-LGBTQ+ people. Shared gender identity is also important to about four in ten young Americans, both LGBTQ+ and Non-LGBTQ+. Shared identities are also important to LGBTQ+ Americans when choosing TV shows and movies to watch and influencers to follow on social media.

The Search for community online

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Travel & Hospitality: Five Key Insights for Engaging Multicultural Consumer Preferences

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Travel & Hospitality: Five Key Insights for Engaging Multicultural Consumer Preferences

As a second pandemic summer comes to an end, many Americans are planning their holiday travel amidst consistent and lasting changes to their preferences and expectations of the travel and hospitality industries. For marketing and consumer insights professionals in travel and hospitality, understanding these shifts in diverse consumer behavior is vital to improving short- and long-term brand engagement strategies.

Collage Group’s latest Passion Points research unveils how American consumers across racial and ethnic segments engage with travel, and which segments care most deeply about this important aspect of American life. Passion Points are the activities and areas of life people are deeply interested in. They are the “things” that people prioritize when spending their time, money, and attention. And they are concrete expressions of culture.

Brands apply Passion Points to both extend reach and deepen connection with America’s multicultural consumers. These activations can vary, from authentic creative and brand positioning to partnerships and sponsorships. In all cases, Passion Point research provides critical insight for understanding which activations will be most successful.

Download an excerpt of our research for travel-related attitudes and behaviors marketers and insights leaders can use to connect with diverse America. And read below for five key insights for engaging multicultural consumer travel preferences.

Fill out the form to view a sample from our research on consumer attitudes and behaviors around Travel & Hospitality.

Passion Points - Travel

1. Most Americans are Eager to Travel

While many Americans remain concerned about the safety and health of traveling amidst the pandemic, most Americans are eager to travel, with Acculturated Hispanic and Asian Americans leading the pack at 74%.

Most American are Eager to Travel after COVID-19

2. And More than Half of Americans Want to See the World

Despite a preference for traveling domestically, 55% of Americans say they have a strong urge to see the world, with Black and Asian consumers saying they are most interested in traveling abroad.

Many Americans Report a Strong Urge to see the World

3. 1 in 3 Americans Have a Favorite Travel Destination

Many Americans may already know where they want to travel. While one-third of Americans say they have a preferred vacation or travel destination, Black consumers are the least likely – at 23%.

One in three Americans have a favorite travel destination

4. Consumer Preferences for How They Travel Vary Across Race and Ethnicity, and Asian Americans Enjoy Flying the Most

The experience of flying is most enjoyed by Asian Americans (63%), while less than half of Hispanic consumers say they enjoy the experience. However, Hispanic consumers show great variation in their preference for flying across acculturation levels.

Asian Americans most enjoy the experience of flying

5. And a Large Majority of Consumers Enjoy Road Trips

Many Americans may be taking to the roads for holiday travel, as more than 75% say they enjoy road trips. Make sure not to miss the extreme variations across Hispanic acculturation: Unacculturated Hispanics are the least likely to enjoy the road (15%), while acculturated Hispanic consumers prefer this method of travel (78%).

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Multicultural Consumer Media Consumption

Multicultural Consumer Media Consumption

Optimize your brand’s connection with consumers across multicultural segments by understanding where they consume media content, and why they go where they do. Keep reading for key insights on social media, visual entertainment, and audio streaming, with downloadable deck and webinar replay.

Media is a major aspect of consumers’ everyday lives. Americans spend a significant amount of their time and attention consuming social media, visual entertainment, and audio streaming content. For brands and advertisers across industries to succeed, they need to understand where people are going to consume media content, and why they’re going there.

    • Are they following specific topics?
    • Are they following influencers?
    • Are they looking for products to purchase?
    • Are they just killing time?
    • Is it device dependent?
    • Does it depend on the race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender of the characters or hosts?

Collage Group’s 2021 Media Study answers these questions by providing granular insights across multicultural segments. Our research reveals the specific platforms American media users go to, and what they’re using them for. The data dives deep into content and platform drivers—spanning categories, passion points, and identity attributes.

Fill out the form below to access the Media Consumption in Diverse America ranked as part of our CultureRate research.

Media Consumption in Diverse America

Social Media

Key Insight: Across age cohorts, multicultural segments are more likely to engage in consumer journey behaviors on social media.

Not only are multicultural Americans more likely to use social media in the first place, they’re also more likely to be power-users, engaging with brands and products alongside friends and family. These relative differences are most pronounced for the 41+ Hispanic segment, where they uniquely over-index in finding new products, communicating directly with brands, finding coupons, and participating in competitions on social media.

Video Media

Key Insight: Black and Hispanic Americans are most likely to add subscriptions for specific content

Over half of Hispanic Americans, and about a third of Black and Asian Americans, listen to podcasts or radio shows in a non-English language. And for Hispanic and Asian consumers, the primary resource they use is social media, on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. Hispanic Americans also over-index on AM/FM radio, Spotify, and Pandora for non-English audio content.

Audio Media

Key Insight: For non-English radio shows and podcasts, social media and AM/FM radio are multicultural consumers’ go-to sources. 

Over half of Hispanic Americans, and about a third of Black and Asian Americans, listen to podcasts or radio shows in a non-English language. And for Hispanic and Asian consumers, the primary resource they use is social media, on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. Hispanic Americans also over-index on AM/FM radio, Spotify, and Pandora for non-English audio content.

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Fill out the form below to access the Top 20 Brands and Ads ranked as part of our CultureRate research.

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

esports.com
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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