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Monday
Mar182013

Marketers Will Do Well By Embracing the New Normal: Diversity

Yes. It's true. Marketers will succeed if they embrace the new normal.

No, we’re not necessarily referring to the NBC show, The New Normal where, “two gay dads and a baby mama create a totally new kind of family comedy.” But the show does gives a glimpse of the cultural changes going on in society.

Diversity is the new normal. And we’re seeing diversity at work, home and play going well beyond race and ethnicity.

Tide, for example, is running a TV spot that shows a dad as the “homemaker” – taking care of his daughter, washing her clothes, and well, just being a dad. Microsoft’s new Outlook ad includes a gay couple getting married, just like any other couple who are in love might. And Nike’s “Jogger” spot from 2012 featured a 200-pound 12-year old kid with a voiceover saying “Greatness is no more unique to us than breathing. We're all capable of it. All of us.” The hero in this Nike ad isn't a multimillion dollar athlete; it's me, it's you, it's all of us.

Our society in the U.S. is more varied than ever before. We have a new normal. Our kids have the opportunity to be in classrooms with other kids from diverse cultures and backgrounds, and not even think twice. More and more women (still not enough) are in leadership positions at some of the world’s biggest brands (Yahoo, Facebook, Pepsi). We now have majority minority states, like California and Texas, where non-Hispanic Whites are a shrinking population. 

So what's a brand to do in this increasingly diverse society?

First - do the research. Talk to your target communities and get to know them and their influencers. Listen to them. Really, actively listen to them.

Then, use what you learn to take action in a real/authentic way. Celebrate them like Addidas is doing with its "all in for #mygirls" campaign. Help them accomplish what they need to as simply as possible, but do it in a way that demonstrates you get that their lives are multidimensional and filled with different types of diversity. Don't go over the top. Look at the specific ads from the marketers noted earlier to get a sense of how to do it right.

Brands that are able to understand and become a part of day-to-day reality of their prospective customers will have a much better shot at winning hearts and minds than those that just aim for a sale, a donation, a vote. 

 

Image courtesy of Feelart / www.FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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