Multicultural audiences are making nuanced media choices

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By Bryon Schafer

With multicultural advertising’s undeniable importance to brand marketers, Vevo, MAGNA and the IPG Media Lab partnered on research designed to explore approaches to video viewing among Asian, Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino consumers in the United States.

Findings illustrate the importance of contextual nuance when it comes to leveraging video viewing for marketing communications, and that streaming via connected TV (CTV) is the central opportunity to bond with these three multicultural audiences in the video advertising ecosystem today.

Among each of the cultural cohorts considered, OTT services and on-CTV devices were identified as the go-to experience for co-viewing video. In the US, 44 percent of Hispanic/Latino audiences, 40 percent of Black/African American audiences and 33 percent of Asian audiences reported recent instances of co-viewing. 

In the US, 56 percent of Hispanic/Latino viewers reported that their co-viewing experiences had taken place on a CTV device, as compared to 53 percent of Black/African American viewers and 52 percent of Asian viewers.

Co-viewing equates to greater ad receptivity as well. In the US, 58 percent of Black/African American viewers report being receptive to CTV ads, along with 55 percent of Hispanic/Latino viewers and 49 percent of Asian viewers.

Advertisers extend reach among these fragmented and distinct audiences with ad-supported CTV content, and they also enhance impact. In part, that’s because audiences across all three groups reported that they were in better moods when watching CTV. As a result, ads create more impact and resonance on CTV than on other platforms, including mobile and linear television. 

In general, the survey also found that different generations do not differ much when it comes to demand for culturally relevant video viewing. It is important to consumers young and old. 

Multicultural viewers identify with sports and especially music

Consumers gravitate towards videos that are culturally relevant to them and this highly correlates with overall viewing lengths. Music and sports content lead the charge in this regard. Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino viewers alike indexed either near above the general popular population averages when asked whether they ascribed high cultural relevance to music and sports content. Meanwhile, Asian viewers ascribed lower cultural relevance to sports content, but still ascribed a high degree of cultural relevance to music content.

Music scores as a highly relevant content type for all three groups of CTV viewers. For advertisers, the lesson is clear: CTV combined with music videos equates to prime viewing sessions for ad receptivity across all three cohorts.

In the US, 70 percent of Asian viewers reported being receptive to advertising during music video viewing sessions on CTV, as compared to 65 percent of Black/African American viewers and 60 percent of Hispanic/Latinos viewers

Since music content places many forms of cultural themes in the commercial spotlight, marketers can benefit from giving it particular attention in their engagement with CTV audiences in these cohorts. Product purchase decisions and media choices are highly informed by cultural relevance, and a brand being thoughtful about culturally relevant executions is as important as having a healthy brand image.

Cultural insight is key to engagement

Consumer media tastes help shape self-identity. Products, services and experiences are favored or rejected by people every day, helping to define them and their lifestyles. Consumers constantly apply meaning to their choices and use this meaning in their social constructs. Cultural insight is in part rooted in an understanding of this, and shaping brands in specific contexts acknowledges the importance of nuanced media choices in marketing.

Given the high volume of brand advertising consumers are subjected to each day in ad supported experiences, contextual nuance works. Carefully crafted engagement cannot come from buying generic, context-blind ad exposures to consumers that simply “check the box” for a given sociodemographic or online behavior. There is a right time and a right place, and decades of brand research has quantified this time and again. Media planning can implement this understanding of distinct cultural areas that improve communications. Cultural relevance is a critical brand health metric that brands should aspire to measure and improve upon, across the entirety of their respective addressable markets. 

Multicultural consumers no longer represent sleeping-giant constituencies, as they develop and refine the framework of identities to our modern communities. Music and culture are inextricably tied to concrete historical and technological developments that galvanize America. 

Prior research by MAGNA and the IPG Media Lab, in 2019, also supports this, highlighting that: “Consumers think brands should be involved, particularly in social issues, as there’s a desire for brand involvement in what consumers are most passionate about. Being culture-focused positions brands as more relevant and those brands who position themselves within culture friendly environments perform better.”

Tapping into cultural nuance is not easy. If it were, most marketers would do it and be great at it. Broad cultural contexts are rarer and rarer, and to harness these contexts takes a lot of thoughtfulness and a high degree of successful execution. Consumers do not come from the same backgrounds, especially in the highly diversified markets where most reside today. Marketers must be conscious not to devalue backgrounds and experiences, as this may be where nuance is needed most.

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