“The future of multiculturalism is not about multiculturalism; it’s about business.” Those unlikely words came from Gonzalo Del Fa, president of GroupM Multicultural, a marketing agency that specializes in connecting advertisers with diverse audiences, speaking at the NAB show’s first-ever conference on multicultural TV and video.
While much digital video advertising is built on data, Del Fa noted that there’s little data to back up multicultural ad targeting. When advertisers reach out to a particular ethnicity, they usually track sales in key zip codes to show results. But people move around, Del Fa said. Advertisers barely know how many people they’re reaching in each group.
“We’re seeing changes happening much faster than they used to,” Del Fa said. An end result is that multiculturalism in advertising will soon disappear. Brands are concerned with expanding market share, he said, and with opportunities. Finding those opportunities means looking beyond ethnicities. While people apply labels to different groups, he believes brands need to remove labels and look for the places they can grow. “We are trying to stereotype things when it shouldn’t be that way.”
When brands want to reach a diverse audience but don’t see the right content to support, they increasingly create their own video, Del Fa said. The option is less expensive than it used to be. But the difficulty is in making ethnic content that truly feels authentic. It’s all about getting the details right.
“Authenticity is not only a hard word for me to pronounce, but also a hard thing to do,” Del Fa said. It’s not difficult to find a way to touch a viewer’s heart, he said. There aren’t millions of different values out there. But it’s the way that content creators express those values that make content truly feel authentic. Doing so requires hiring creators that are part of that community. “That’s when you see a brand really hit the big time,” he said.