Why Multicultural Marketing Needs Machine Learning and Facial Tracking

Marketing authentically and effectively to an increasingly diverse America
It will be difficult for marketers to succeed in 2019 without understanding the cultural change taking place in this country.

Between 2012 and 2017, the American multicultural population – Hispanic, African American and Asian American – increased to 11.7 million. Notably, these groups are small and growing at a faster rate than their white counterparts. This makes multicultural marketing an essential component of all advertising campaigns.

Still, even the most experienced and “culturally awake” brands can have trouble navigating this cultural change and shift in consumer behavior.

Furthermore, for the first time ever, more than half of the children are now ethnic majority. Generation Z is the greatest generation in American history. They are only 52% white, spending their money, and starting few families.

A diverse, rich and multicultural world already exists here and all around us. We’ve seen Spanish-language commercials at the Oscars, the success of “Crazy Rich Asian” and Farewell, and African American television programming like “Insecure” and “Blackish.”

This multicultural influence is having a profound effect on the identity and behavior of consumers.
Successful marketers will change how their brands target new audiences. Understanding these changes is at the core of what we are doing at Collage Group.

Our AdRate technology uses facial tracking technology, machine learning and sentiment analysis to help brands understand culture and generations by studying how brand advertising content resonates with key demographics.

Marketers are already using AI and brands are making multicultural marketing efforts. This is the next logical step.

Our survey technology ranks ads on two metrics that cross the boundaries of traditional brand compatibility.

These metrics, called groundswell and backlash, measure the percentage of a sample “flipping” their perception of a brand from negative to positive or vice versa. Groundswell is when audiences switch from a negative view of a brand to a positive one. The exact opposite happens in Backlash.

Facial tracking is not a new concept in multicultural marketing – but it is given new life when combined with machine learning and sentiment analysis and applied to segments that have been overlooked by marketing organizations for far too long.

With these tools, our industry can improve the prediction of audience sentiment as they relate to purchase intent, advertising impact and desired outcome.

As we repeat the process with more and more ads, the algorithm gets smarter and smarter.
Our research is finding a deeper connection between brands and multicultural audiences. Consumers are now criticizing brands and do not like how they are being represented: 64% Asian, 64% African American, and 52% Hispanic are unhappy with the portrayal of their ethnic group in entertainment.

What’s more, the seemingly harmless material is having the opposite effect than intended. For example, the Colgate ad ‘Close Talker’ did notably poorly with Asian American audiences; Our facial tracking technology showed a huge surge of anger among this group during the “Mr. Lee” scene. Any marketer would agree that it is very problematic to invoke such a strong negative sentiment for any element of a brand’s content.

Since we began tracking cultural attitudes towards media, we have made several important observations that will help with multicultural marketing:

Multicultural content doesn’t work

Previous brand solutions have focused on one-size-fits-all to “total market” strategies aimed at appealing to all multicultural consumers, but this has not been successful, with many brands being called out by socially younger audiences. Used to be. Instead, brand marketers need to understand cultural differences in order to be successful.

An increasingly divided cultural environment makes consuming authentic, unique and engaging content creation challenging.

Young people are not afraid to call the brand
Young consumers are ‘breaking up’ with brands over multicultural crimes, particularly through organic, viral social media campaigns that begin with a simple hashtag.

Understanding Multicultural Audiences Is a Brand Recession Proof
According to our projection model, leveraging the impact of multicultural spending growth is a brand’s best recession-proof growth strategy.

In scenarios where the future economy is “stable”, “average” or “at best”, multicultural aggregate spending will drive growth in non-Hispanic white groups. The most significant growth in a “stable” economy would come from multicultural groups.

Here’s what we found through our research using machine learning and facial recognition:

African American Consumers
African Americans have the second largest purchasing power among multicultural groups, and yet many brands are still scrambling to fix them.

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