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Launching Multicultural Media Campaigns

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A specialty at our firm is helping companies target niche audiences. One of our more challenging accounts has charged us with running a multicultural campaign targeting dozens of individual ethnic groups within the United States with just the right message. This type of campaign presents a different set of challenges from huge buys on the Web’s top sites. To help describe some of the challenges and tactics associated with running one of these campaigns I interviewed Barbara Wojslawowicz, one of our planners, who does a great job managing and optimizing these difficult multicultural campaigns.

Who are you and what do you do?

Barbara Wojslawowicz: I’m an online media planner in the media department at Overdrive Interactive. I’m responsible for online, and sometimes offline, media strategy, planning, buying, and management for direct-response clients, primarily focused on multicultural advertising. Prior to Overdrive, I held online marketing positions at Digitas and First Night Boston.

HG: Why is multicultural advertising so important?

BW: Since each ethnic group responds to messaging differently, it’s important for advertisers to tailor products and subsequent advertising campaigns in culturally relevant media segments. The U.S. has always been referred to as a melting pot of ideas, religions, and cultures, and according to a recent Pew Research Center study entitled, “Immigration to Play Lead Role in Future U.S. Growth,” the pot is going to get even bigger. According to the study, “the population of the United States will rise to 438 million in 2050, from 296 million in 2005, and 82% of the increase will be due to immigrants arriving from 2005 to 2050 and their U.S.-born descendants…The Latino population, already the nation’s largest minority group, will triple in size.” This population boom will inevitably lead to increased spending on consumer goods from ethnic Americans. This presents a huge opportunity for companies to expand their product offerings and target their ad campaigns by ethnic group.

HG: In your experience, what channels have been the most successful in reaching your client’s ethnic markets in the U.S.?

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