Thursday, November 26, 2015

12950: A Heritage Of Ignorance.

In keeping with the arguably dumb decision to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November with Thanksgiving, MultiCultClassics presents advertising and marketing featuring descendants of the true founding fathers (and mothers).

Ralph Lauren displayed cultural cluelessness in classic style.

Victoria’s Secret exposed insensitive ignorance on the catwalk.

Folks were not feeling happy with Pharrell and Elle.

Natural American Spirit appears to be smoking something strange by insisting the brand shows its Native American spirit via philanthropic support.

The Washington Redskins fumbled by saluting Thanksgiving, prompting a salute from MultiCultClassics.

The Land O’ Lakes Indian Maiden escaped one White advertising agency, only to be taken captive by another.

All of which warrants closing out with a little cry.

12949: Thanksgiving Truths.

Truthout presents, “The Thanksgiving Myth: Reflecting on Land Theft, Betrayal and Genocide.”

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

12948: Grupo ABC + DDB = BS.

The Wall Street Journal reported Omnicom is acquiring the largest independent advertising agency in Brazil, Grupo ABC, planning to fold it into DDB Worldwide. Omnicom will surely record the acquisition as a major diversity boost—but still refuse to provide EEO-1 data to prove it. Then again, the newfound diversity doesn’t necessarily lessen the cultural cluelessness, given the insensitive ignorance routinely displayed from Brazil. Plus, the majority of culturally clueless Caucasians at DDB probably think they just acquired Groupon.

Omnicom Boosts Presence in Brazil with Grupo ABC Acquisition

Grupo ABC’s clients include Banco Itau, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson

By Nathalie Tadena

Advertising giant Omnicom Group Inc. said it will acquire Grupo ABC, boosting the company’s presence in one of the world’s biggest advertising markets.

Grupo ABC, the largest independent ad agency in Brazil, will become a part of Omnicom’s DDB Worldwide division, the companies announced Monday. The deal is subject to regulatory approval in Brazil and is expected to close by the first quarter of 2016.

The São Paulo-based firm has clients ranging from Banco Itau to Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. DDB Worldwide will be gaining holdings that include DM9, which DDB already owned a majority stake in; Africa and Loducca, which DDB also had held minority stakes in; CDN; Sunset and Newstyle. Grupo ABC, which now has more than 2,000 employees, was founded in 2002 by Brazilian advertising executives Nizan Guanaes and Guga Valente, both of whom will stay in their leadership roles at the company.

“Grupo ABC is widely acknowledged as an outstanding company with impressive creative work and expertise in a broad range of disciplines,” said Omnicom Chief Executive John Wren in a statement. “Over the years, Grupo ABC have been great partners of Omnicom and their depth of talent will strengthen our business capabilities not only in Brazil but around the world.”

The deal will give New York-based Omnicom a stronger foothold in Brazil, the sixth-largest advertising market in the world. Ad revenue in the country is expected to increase 4.4% to $18.1 billion in 2015, according to Interpublic-owned research firm Magna Global. While ad spending in Brazil has been weaker than expected this year during the country’s economic downturn, the Summer Olympics in 2016 will be held in Rio de Janeiro and are expected to provide a minor boost to ad spending.

Omnicom’s deal with Grupo ABC will bring the company’s reported billings, which don’t include rate card discounts, in line with rivals Interpublic and Publicis in Brazil, though all three still remain behind WPP, said Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser. According to Grupo ABC’s website, the company had revenues of $402 million in 2012, though the exchange rate has since weakened.

“Brazil is one of the most important markets globally,” Mr. Wieser said in an interview. “For agencies, it’s probably a much more profitable market than larger markets like the U.K. and Germany not least because of unique laws that oblige creative and media to remain integrated. It’s also an important market for talent. In the long run, everyone expects Brazil to rebound.”

The company is not disclosing terms of the acquisition or how much it plans to spend on M&A in 2015. Reuters earlier reported that Omnicom was set to acquire Grupo ABC for one billion reais, which is about $270 million.

At that price, Grupo ABC would be Omnicom’s largest acquisition this year. Other 2015 acquisitions include German digital marketing agency TLGG, web analytics company Trakken, public affairs firm Mercury, search and web analytics agency Semetis, healthcare agency Cortex and data-on-demand firm Re-Mind. In 2014, Omnicom made 10 acquisitions of new subsidiaries and made additional investments in companies where it had an existing minority ownership.

Omnicom executives have indicated that the company has been looking at a number of potential acquisitions that could be announced in the fourth quarter.

“We’re going to continue to look for acquisitions that are the right fit, meet our strategic requirements, and we’re going to be aggressive in trying to find those assets [that] help us to grow the business, where we think it makes sense,” Chief Financial Officer Phil Angelastro said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call in October. “We are in the process of negotiating some deals. The pipeline is strong at the moment.”

On an earnings call in July, Mr. Wren said the company was “talking to” a couple of companies that would expand its presence in markets outside the U.S. and a couple of companies in media. In April, Mr. Wren told investors on an earnings call that the company had just formed a new dedicated acquisition group, which Omnicom had not had in several years. Omnicom would look at “sensible acquisitions,” that are mid-sized and fit its strategic growth areas.

“We’re looking at quite a number of opportunities, probably on a more formal basis than we have in the last several years. And so I expect over time we will be doing more,” Mr. Wren said in April. “No big bang type things.”

Omnicom was among the ad companies that had sought to buy digital agency Essence Digital, according to a person familiar with the matter. Omnicom declined to comment. Essence is now being acquired by WPP.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

12947: Brazilian BS.

Not sure what this campaign from Brazil is supposed to communicate—besides the cultural cluelessness of Brazilian creatives.

From Ads Of The World.

Monday, November 23, 2015

12946: Red Bullshit.

This Italian video for Red Bull is, well, bullshit. Is Red Bull the new Gatorade? Or the new Sprite wannabe? Guess advertising agencies in Italy love hip hop too.

From Ads Of The World.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

12945: ANA MM&DC BS.

At Advertising Age, Rochelle Newman-Carrasco provided a perspective on the latest ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference titled, “Cultural Courage Trumps Cowardice.” Okay, but cash trumps crumbs—and it looks like multicultural marketing continues to see more of the latter than the former. It also looks like the same usual suspects—Allstate, Denny’s, Verizon, Western Union, Wells Fargo and Kaiser Permanente—are experiencing the same challenges, such as general lack of investment and gigantic lack of interest. Of course, folks are still debating and defining the total bullshit of total market. Newman-Carrasco’s closing remarks included, “Perhaps … we can look forward to a day when the Masters of Marketing conference authentically reflects inclusion and diversity, with an agenda crafted to turn up the volume on multiculturalism, elevating it from invisible to inclusive to influential.” Hey, according to Leo Burnett, the day will come in 2079. Until then, diversion trumps diversity.

ANA Multicultural Conference: Cultural Courage Trumps Cowardice

How Leading Brands Are Taking a Targeted and Total Market Approach

By Rochelle Newman-Carrasco

About two weeks before this year’s ANA Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference, Kimberly-Clark’s Lizette Williams wrote a LinkedIn post entitled “Courageous Leadership.” In it, she referred to a favorite quote: “True courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of it.”

Last week at the conference, this idea came alive in presentations by top executives from companies like Verizon, Allstate, Western Union and Kaiser Permanente. These leaders assembled in Miami—one of the most diverse cities in the world—to discuss their multicultural marketing strategies. They shared successes but emphasized that “this isn’t easy” and “it takes work.” They learned from failures and had the courage to say “I don’t know” or “I was wrong.”

Verizon’s Javier Farfan underscored the need to “get your house in order” as a foundation for multicultural effectiveness. Infrastructure and operational readiness were key ingredients for many marketers who worked on cultural fluency from the inside out. Apoorva Gandhi of Marriott International highlighted “differences that make a difference,” stating that “diversity of thought will always get you better results.”

Denny’s CMO John Dillon turned around the brand by understanding the new American family and strategically focusing on shared values inherent in the idea of a “diner.” “It’s an environment where everyone is equal,” said Mr. Dillon, adding that Denny’s work leverages insights that connect emotionally across cultures but are not “one size fits all.”

Wells Fargo’s Mariela Ure shared work targeting bilingual, bicultural Latinos that tested well against a broad spectrum of consumers. Wells Fargo’s total market strategy overlaps a total and target market approach. Michael Lacorraza, also from Wells Fargo, acknowledged that while it was “tempting” to consolidate creative under one agency roof, the benefits of working with specialized agency partners outweighed other efficiencies, suggesting that specialists delivered a greater return on insights.

Trying to define “total market” for those not familiar with the concept was not easy. Many speakers tried. The definitions were always preceded by caveats about how convoluted they were and how hard it was to explain simply. As an example, the ANA’s own definition reads:

“A marketing approach … which proactively integrates diverse segment considerations. This is done from inception, through the entire strategic process and execution … In marketing communications this could lead to either one fully integrated cross-cultural approach, individual segment approaches, or both in many cases, but always aligned under one overarching strategy.”

Total market was not developed as a replacement for target marketing. What total market was designed to address was out-dated “Mad Men”-esque marketing—the kind of marketing that targets a dominantly straight-white-traditional America; the kind of mono-cultural advertising that floods TV and print. Total market was intended to encourage, if not demand, that marketers finally reflect and respect all consumers, in the face of a demographic tipping point and the changed (not changing) face of America.

Conference chair Gilbert Davila reminded attendees that it wasn’t really about multicultural marketing—it was about marketing in and to a multicultural world.

Given the demographics of America, isn’t all marketing multicultural? At the conclusion of Manny Gonzalez’s presentation on Moet Hennessy’s strategy, titled “Reinventing a Classic for Today’s Millennial Consumer,” Mr. Davila asked a crystal ball question about the future of multicultural marketing. Mr. Gonzalez predicted a future blending of the ANA’s Masters of Marketing Conference with its Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference.

At Hennessy, Mr. Gonzalez works with master blenders—artists known for their craftsmanship. Perhaps, with this spirit in mind, we can look forward to a day when the Masters of Marketing conference authentically reflects inclusion and diversity, with an agenda crafted to turn up the volume on multiculturalism, elevating it from invisible to inclusive to influential. That said, when it comes to covering multicultural content, another Hennessy saying comes to mind: “Never stop. Never settle.” There is room for both a crafted cultural blend and “single malt” approach to the multicultural conversation, one that allows for deep dives into the specifics of reaching each segment. We live in the age of “And.” Why settle for “Or?”

Saturday, November 21, 2015

12944: Follow The Bad Leader.

Advertising Age published a perspective by Collins President Amber Guild titled, “Agencies Should Follow Clients’ Lead on Diversity.” Guild makes some decent points; however, her piece lacks any new ideas on the old topic. For example, Guild opened by saluting PepsiCo Global Beverage Group President Brad Jakeman—who criticized White advertising agencies for their abject lack of diversity and alleged surfeit of gender inequality despite constantly conspiring with the firms. So it could be argued that agencies are following client’s lead on diversity, in that both parties talk the talk while failing to walk the walk. Guild also claimed her company is attempting to be progressive about inclusion. Yet one of Collins’ first solutions involves a Harlem high school apprenticeship. Wow, that’s a fresh concept.

Agencies Should Follow Clients’ Lead on Diversity

By Amber Guild

A few weeks ago, PepsiCo’s Brad Jakeman called out advertising agencies for not evolving with the times. Most important, he criticized them for their lack of diversity.

Amen, Mr. Jakeman.

As a woman of color who is the president of a growing brand and experience firm, I can tell you from firsthand experience that everything Mr. Jakeman said is true.

I got my first job in advertising when I was 19. I needed to make some money to help pay for my next year at college. My sister, who had been working as a receptionist at Bozell Worldwide, asked her friend in HR if there were any openings. Before I knew it, I was a secretary in their retail group.

That summer, I was introduced to a world I never knew existed. A vibrant world where people came together to play each other songs (I learned they were called jingles), where you could spend all day at an edit studio eating M&M’s, where artists sketched all morning long and where the last day of the week was Keg Friday.

But it wasn’t until I sat behind a two-way mirror and listened to people talk about what our clients’ brands meant to them that I was hooked. What self-respecting psychology major wouldn’t want to work in a world where we tried to figure out what people think? And it was fun.

From day one, though, I noticed that the only other people of color seemed to be secretaries, receptionists or workers in the mail room. And the only women on the executive floor sat in front of their C-suite bosses’ office doors minding their calendars. It was 1998.

Over the next 17 years, I experienced the worst and the best of the ad industry. I saw people of color relegated to “urban” work. I heard male supervisors say that women “lost their focus” after they came back from maternity. I saw working mothers call their babysitters at 8 p.m. and through cracked voices tell them they weren’t sure when they’d be home. I witnessed women being consistently paid less than their male counterparts.

By the summer of 2014, I was a senior executive and I just walked out. I was tired—exhausted really. Yes, I had “leaned in,” but I was starting to think, “Why should I? Why should we be the ones who have to lean into a world and a culture that wasn’t created for us?”

I am not saying there has been no progress. The client world is changing much faster than ours. There are many more senior female marketing executives than when I began—and that’s a good start. But it’s time for agencies to do what many clients are doing: take a long, hard look at their cultures and identify the areas for change.

We are in the business of ideas. Diversity—and collision of thought, experience, perspective and people—is where the electricity comes from. It just doesn’t make business sense to ignore it any longer.

It’s time that the leaders of the industry start asking themselves:

• Is there a correlation between the lack of diversity and the ad industry’s growing business irrelevancy?

• Why exactly do women leave? And why have the people of color never arrived?

• Do we think our culture of overwork really leads to great work?

• Why are women paid less than men doing the same job?

Last fall, I had coffee with Brian Collins and Leland Maschmeyer, two creative leaders whose work I deeply admire. We realized that the three of us were trying to answer the same question: Why should an industry tasked with building brands have a talent base that in no way reflects the diversity of the world we live in?

We also had a shared belief that the only way we could get to business-changing ideas for our clients is if we focus on building a culture that represents the wider world and allows us richer perspective into it. That meant creating a new kind of place where women, parents, people of color, people with disabilities, gay, lesbian, straight, transgender, caregivers, introverts, white dudes, extroverts, data seekers, “Firefly” geeks and every faith can thrive.

So last December, I joined the team at Collins. While we certainly don’t have it all figured out at our firm, we’re moving full steam ahead, working to build a culture for a quickly evolving creative industry. Among our first efforts is one that starts at the beginning: a new program with Harlem high schools for apprenticeships in design thinking. (But that’s a story for another day.)

We need more places where all people are valued—and supported. Our clients face new, complex challenges every day. The only way we can create meaningful experiences for people is if we share a real understanding of how we all live. Then we can celebrate our unity in our diversity.

Friday, November 20, 2015

12943: Multicultural Campaigning.

From NBC News…

Clinton Campaign Hires Black Owned Advertising Firm

By Lauren Victoria Burke

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has hired Burrell Communications, an African American advertising and media firm.

Based in Chicago and Los Angeles, the firm is owned by two African American women, McGhee Williams Osse and Faye Ferguson, both seasoned marketing and advertising professionals.

Burrell Communications, founded in 1971, will assist the campaign in focusing on African American voters, targeting their concerns and issues as Clinton moves forward towards the first primary and caucus tests.

In 2012, African American women showed up big at the polls and delivered the highest voter turnout of any voters, between the ages of ages 18 to 29, in the U.S. electorate.

Though many political observers wonder if that level of voter participation was only possible because President Obama’s name was on the ballot, Clinton is expected to fight hard to assemble Obama’s coalition of voters as the cornerstone of a winning strategy.

It’s likely Burrell Communications’ influence will be seen in South Carolina, where Black voters are a big key in a race primarily between Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders. (Ms. Williams Osse even completed her completed post-graduate advertising studies at the University of South Carolina.) The South Carolina primary is on February 27th and currently Clinton is polling ahead.

“We choose to be an agency that specializes in the African-American market. This is our DNA — our passion... and we believe that we are responsible to the community to whom we speak — the African-American community; our community,” the Burrell website reads regarding the company’s overall mission. The firm has designed campaigns for major corporations ranging from McDonald’s to Toyota to General Mills to American Airlines.

These new hires add to other African American hires who are currently working for Clinton.

The most prominent of those hires includes LaDavia Drane, who is Hillary Clinton’s Director of African American Outreach, Marlon Marshall, who is Clinton’s Director of Political Engagement, and Karen Finney, Clinton’s strategic communications adviser and spokesperson. Finney also worked for Clinton during her run for Senate in 2000.

The campaign also hired well known political veteran Ron Lester to focus on the campaign’s African American polling.