Marketers tackle America's multiethnic culture with tuned in campaigns

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Coors Light and Comcast both created campaigns to attract Hispanic customers
Coors Light and Comcast both created campaigns to attract Hispanic customers
Miller Light recently launched a TV campaign where a beer drinker is asked to choose between an unnamed, flavorless light beer and a Miller Light. The spots ran in Spanish and English, with a secondary English spot geared toward the black community. In the Spanish-language ad, a man must choose between two soccer teams. In the other, the man is texting on his mobile device at a basketball game.

"A Hispanic wouldn't choose which soccer team to root for lightly," says Patel, of the ad. "Soccer is a passion for Mexican Hispanics. It's the NFL on steroids...African Americans are bigger mobile users and earlier adopters than any other segment and they enjoy watching hoops."

The Miller Light brand recently announced its sponsorship of soccer's Concacaf Gold Cup tournament, which features matches in North America, Central America and the Caribbean. It will run a sweepstakes promotion offering consumers the chance to win a trip to the tournament's final game. "The Census told us that we [as a country] are changing quickly," says Patel. "You have to figure out how to better and better connect with multicultural consumers in culturally relevant and authentic ways." 

Some companies have just begun to segment according to culture. Prudential financial services, which hosts an annual multicultural marketing symposium geared toward "getting everyone starting to think about multicultural marketing," says Mark Hug, CMO of Prudential Individual Life Insurance, recently began the process of understanding how and why to speak differently to consumers based on culture.

Since the symposium, Prudential formed a multicultural marketing team made up of more than 100 people and the company has developed microsites providing general consumer education to multicultural communities. Hug says the company's direct mail will change within the next six months and that it will be "changing the look and feel of our material so that it's more inclusive and authentic." 

"Mainstream marketing doesn't necessarily talk in the language our consumer is going to hear," explains Hug. "A Midwesterner will always be a Midwesterner. You don't talk to them the way you talk to someone on the East Coast. We've been at this for less than a year and we're learning." 

Prudential has learned one important lesson that all marketers will have to learn in the years to come: "Seeing a little bit of yourself in advertising goes a long way."

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