Can You Use Stereotypes and Still Have a Good Ad?

 Take look at this delightful ad for Heineken created by TBWA\Neboko, Amstelveen.  The ad does play on stereotypic “likes” of the sexes-shoes for her and beer for him, but it does it in a light, non-judgmental way that works.  What is particularly nice in this day of globalization is that while there is a minimal…

Free Marketing Seminar (Chicago)

Please join me in Chicago for a free marketing seminar I’ll be leading this Friday, January 9 at City Hall:  5 Easy Steps to Marketing Your Business.  In this fast-paced workshop you will learn to clearly define your products or services, identify your target market and strategize how to reach it.  Learn about branding and how to create…

Volkswagen Presents Multicultural Multicultural Ad

 Take a look at this new ad from Volkswagen , created by Almap BBDO (Brazil) that pokes fun at diversity and inclusion as the vehicle (ha ha) for creating an intercultural, inclusive ad to reach out to multiple audiences. While many multicultural ads still seem to stereotype or tokenize cultures, this ad playfully and consciously…

Three Tests for Racism in Cross-Cultural Advertising

 With over $600 billion in annual income/spending power at stake, advertisers more and more are embracing the importance of using images of diversity in advertising campaigns.  Sometimes it’s the strategy, as advertisers purposely create several versions of an ad to target different markets (think McDonald’s) and sometimes it’s part of the story line, as with…

Obama Is Black. McCain is White.

Okay, now I’ve said it, so what’s next?  Traditional diversity trainings and rules of political correctness dictate you should suppress that instinct to notice race or be declared a racist.  The fact is that categorization is an innate survival response dating back to the era of the hunter/gatherer:  Edible, non-edible? Male-female?  Friend-foe?  Rather than suppress…

Concerns About Civil Rights Violations in the November Elections and Delegating Your Personal Communications (Not!)

 When I took over as Executive Director of a not-for-profit trade association a few years ago, I quickly uncovered some deep financial problems that preceded my arrival but demanded my immediate attention.  To fill the gap of day-to-day staff management while I focused on organizational issues, I delegated ‘being nice’ to the Managing Director.  He…

“Harley Rider” Event Broadens Definition of Culture in Intercultural Communications

I got an unexpected lesson in Cross-Cultural Communications last week at the “Almost Home” celebration at Kegel Harley Davidson in Rockford, IL.  Looking across the field of hundreds of ‘bikers’ wearing faded Levi’s and t-shirts, I felt consciously aware of my striped Capri pants and tailored shirt.  “There are no other children here,” I also…