When the advertising industry uses “multicultural” market, what is it referring to? A subsection of the globe, perhaps, for which a more specific term would work better? Or “Hispanic market,” which was the phrase used before adland opted for multicultural?
Advertising has a problem when it uses multicultural market. This confusion directly impedes how brands understand their audiences at scale. We know that no two countries are the same, and that multiple cultures are represented within their borders. Why do we try to link, for instance, Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela—and then throw in Mexico and Cuba—with the same creative touchpoints from ad concept to production to music?
With continued education, a fresh mindset and by checking our ethnocentrism at the door, we can begin to tackle the industry-wide issue of the “multicultural market” moniker. Here are three ways to get started:
To be clear, the real solve is not overgeneralizing swathes of countries with one market name. It’s not the U.S. advertising industry’s job to educate the American population about Hispanic culture, per se, but when you try to target Hispanics as a single community, you risk using an overabundance of cultural touchstones from one country and alienating another country in the process. Or, more drastically, targeting Latinos and calling them Hispanic and vice-versa.