Older “Bad Boy” Makes Good Cross-Generational “Ad Boy”

Talk about reinvention.  From 30 year old accusations that he preached devil worship (with subliminal messages in his ‘records’ if you played them backwards) to The Osbournes, to my 8 year old singing “I am Iron Man…running over children in my mini-van,” from the back seat of the car on the way to soccer practice,…

Targeted Marketing: Stereotype or Just Your Personality?

As soon as this June, if you don’t like how ads are representing you, it may be time for a personality overhaul.  NPR reports today about new technologies that will allow for smart advertising…TV ads that are targeted to you, your buying habits and individual tastes. What would your ads look like?  To which spectrum…

Diversifying Your Audience by Diversifying Your Organization

  (Originally posted on Illinois Arts Alliance “One State” Conference Blog, 5-12-09) I’m presenting at a conference at the University of Puerto Rico on “Representations of Race and Culture in Advertising and Marketing” next week.  Funded by the National Science Foundation, the conference will look at the influence of cultural identity on service delivery, and is…

Heineken, Multicultural Marketing, and the 5 Second Rule

Sometimes I think the best way to avoid perpetuating racial or cultural stereotypes in advertising is to purposely mix it up, which is why I liked the new “Let a Stranger Take You Home” ad for Heineken by Wieden + Kennedy, Portland.  The spot opens with an Asian looking young man singing along to a…

Burger King Multicultural Marketing “Misstep”…or Worse?

Diversity, Inc., yesterday reported that Burger King “does it right” by pulling its Texican WHOPPER ad following outcry from the Mexican Ambassador in Spain at the ad’s offense.  More than a “misstep” as Diversity, Inc. called it, Burger King seems to base much of its advertising on objectifying or setting up power imbalances between cultures. …

Hardees Ad Alienates Women, Hindus

And I thought the Burger King Burger Shots ad was offensive in its objectification of women!  The new Hardees Western Bacon Thickburger campaign, created for the US market by Mendelsohn Zien Advertising, LLC, goes over the top with its raunchy scene of model/actress/author Padma Lakshmi seductively eating said product.  The fact that she is Indian/Hindu seems like…

Multicultural Marketing Success with Nike Men Vs Women Campaign

With the mix of internationally recognized celebrities (you’ll recognize at least one), the seamless change out of language (men-hombes-uomini vs. women-mujeres-donne) and liberal use of physical action over dialogue, 72andSunny creates a truly multicultural ad campaign that resonates across a wide range of ethnic groups and is readily adaptable to present in multiple global markets,…

When Cultural Identity Doesn’t Matter

  With all of the emphasis in intercultural communications on recognizing and embracing one’s cultural identity, it’s important to remember that while acknowledging someone’s ethnicity may be natural, it also may have no connection whatsoever to the meaning of the interaction at hand, as with this playful ad by Wieden + Kennedy for Swagger by…

The Universal Language of Cookies

I love intercultural communications, and I love cookies, so I had to love this ad for oreos that connects two little girls from different cultural backgrounds by their common enjoyment of and manner of eating Oreos.  For a strong diversity program to succeed, it’s important that internal programs and policies align with external communications.  This seems to be the case for…