Brands Banking on Multiracial Family Advertising

  • African American consumers have $1.2 trillion in spending power
  • 72% of people make purchases based on brands that share their values

Companies like JP Morgan (JPM  -0.25%), State Farm and Macy’s (M -0.33%) are continuing to push a multicultural narrative in their ad campaigns. Is this a signal big brands are becoming open minded and progressive as it relates to selling their products and services?

Why This Matters: African American consumers have $1.2 trillion in spending power,  according to Nielsen. People have been waiting for the media they’re consuming to truly portray their lives. A 2016 report by BabyCenter and market research company YouGov, found 72% of people said “a brand that shares their values is an important factor in their purchasing decisions.”

The black population is essential for companies that want to grow market share and brand preference. Data suggests black consumer spending already significantly affects the bottom line in many categories and industries.

In 2016 JP Morgan released a commercial that followed the relationship of a white boy and a black girl as it progressed from puppy love to marriage. This advertisement reinforced the company’s investment guidance through the message “some things are worth waiting for.”

Tide also put out an ad which showed a white husband with his black wife using Tide PODS to quickly clean their daughter’s laundry before leaving for a trip. Along with State Farm’s engagement ad of a black man proposing to his white girlfriend. Both of the ads were used to show how these companies value diversity. In 2017 39% of poll respondents said interracial marriage was good for society, up from 24% in 2010.

“It’s a cost-benefit thing, most marketers have come to realize that no matter what they do, a certain segment is going to be offended. But the upside seeming inclusive outweighs the risk of ruffling feathers,” said Allen Adamson, co-founder of Metaforce a marketing strategy firm.

Situational Awareness: While the days of negative backlash over ads are not gone, the fact that brands continue to feature this diversity means they’re having success. Perhaps this trend will continue and become the new normal in advertising.

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