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Media Decoder: Marketers Call for Multicultural Focus


By By Stuart Elliott
Published: November 6, 2009

Increasing the attention paid to multicultural or ethnic consumers is a smart strategy, according to speakers at the opening general session of the 99th annual conference of the Association of National Advertisers.

If one way to outfox the economy is to stimulate growth, increasing the attention paid to multicultural or ethnic consumers is a smart strategy, according to speakers at the opening general session of the 99th annual conference of the Association of National Advertisers.
Neil Golden, senior vice president and chief marketing officer at the McDonald’s U.S.A. division of McDonald’s, devoted his presentation to what he called “leading with ethnic insights” – in other words, initiatives in multicultural markets can generate significant gains in sales and market share.

“The multicultural, ethnic segments are leading lifestyle trends,” Mr. Golden said.
Mr. Golden offered examples of how McDonald’s U.S.A. sells new products like the Angus Third Pounder and coffee drinks with campaigns tailored to groups like African-Americans, Hispanics and Asian-Americans.

For instance, a TV commercial for the Angus burgers shows a Hispanic man riding a bus enjoying his meal so much that he does not notice he has reached the end of the line and is sitting in an empty bus.

If McDonald’s U.S.A. conducts nine focus groups, Mr. Golden said, two will be composed of Hispanics and be conducted in Spanish, two will be for African-Americans, two will be for Asian-Americans and three will be composed of a cross-section of consumers.

Andy England, chief marketing officer at MillerCoors, the joint venture of the brewers SAB Miller and Molson Coors, said that advertisers not reaching out to young Hispanic consumers “are not going to win in the market,” whatever the category. Among the commercials he presented was one in Spanish for Coors Light.

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