Diwali 2021: What Should My Brand Do?

Diwali 2021: What Should My Brand Do?

It’s not too late to activate! With two thirds of Indian Americans celebrating Diwali, brands will want to make their mark on this important holiday. Keep reading to learn what Asian consumers expect from brands like yours on this festival of lights.

Diwali is one of the major festivals celebrated among Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, and many Buddhists. The holiday lasts five days, and it coincides with the Hindu New Year according to their lunisolar calendar. Though it falls on November 4 this year, Diwali has some similarities to other winter and New Year’s celebrations, and comes with distinct cultural traditions.

Read on for key facts about the holiday, insights on how Asian American consumers celebrate, and ideas for how your brand can get involved.

What is Diwali?

Diwali honors the conclusion of the Ramayana, a key Hindu text and one of two major Sanskrit epics of ancient India. It celebrates the triumphant return of Prince Rama after a 14-year exile, the rescue of his wife Sita, and his coronation as king. Rejoicing in Rama’s victories, Diwali celebrants honor light itself amidst the darkness of coming winter.  And for many Asian Americans, Diwali is an explicitly religious holiday, with the Goddess Lakshmi – symbolizing wealth and purity – a key focus.

Traditions of Diwali​

    • Candles and firecrackers are popular in Diwali celebrations, with diya oil lamps one of the more traditional means of proving light in the darkness
    • Rangoli is an art form common in Diwali preparations, where colored sand, flower petals, rocks, and powdered stone are arranged in colorful, patterned designs on a flat surface
    • Sweet foods are a traditional component of Diwali celebrations, with many preparing malpua pancakes, laddu balls, and other fare to eat and share
    • Puja is a worship ritual common among Hindus, Buddhists, and Jains. On Diwali, offerings of light, flowers, sustenance, or song accompany these rituals, largely directed towards the Goddess Lakshmi

Among Indian Americans, having special food and drink is the most common way to celebrate Diwali. Eating and gifting sweets is therefore a key component of American Diwali, but many other customs – including fireworks, clothing, decorations, and religious ceremonies – are also popular.

Key Consumer Insights

According to Collage Group’s 2021 Holidays and Occasions study, 13% of the Asian American population celebrates Diwali, with 67% of Indian Americans making up the bulk of celebrants. Diwali therefore has a niche, but dedicated market.

Which means many brands may be wondering if they have permission to play.

Among Indian Americans, brands largely have a green light to focus on education. Most Indian Americans say brands should use their Diwali activations to explain what the holiday is and why it’s important, given that half of Americans – and 42% of Asian Americans – are not familiar with the festival at all. And Many Indian Americans also support brands sharing stories of people observing the holiday, as well as showing others what they can do to help celebrate.

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Transform Change into Opportunity: 2021 Virtual Members-Only Roundtable

Transform Change into Opportunity: 2021 Virtual Members-Only Roundtable

Explore how America’s diverse consumers have changed since 2020, specifically amidst unprecedented social and economic upheaval

The past 18 months have been a period of unprecedented change in America. The lingering COVID-19 pandemic coupled with social movements both embracing and resisting America’s increasing cultural diversity have created a set of new challenges for brands. These modern dilemmas include changing consumer expectations, deep polarization, and an urgent need to better connect with a diversifying America. Fortunately, these challenges are not insurmountable, and offer new opportunities to better connect with American consumers.

Collage Group is pleased to support more than 200 of America’s leading brands as they work to confront these challenges and transform change into opportunity. On November 3 at our 2021 Members-Only Roundtable, subscribers to our cultural intelligence platform(s) will learn how to leverage our cultural insights and tools to connect with the dynamic American consumer. The 2021 Roundtable will provide attendees with new research and engaging panel discussion focused on leveraging cultural insight to effectively navigate both today and tomorrow’s changing consumer landscape. Learn more in the agenda.

Attendees will learn:

    1. How consumers’ perspectives and behaviors related to COVID-19, racial justice, cultural diversity, and brand action have changed since 2020
    2. Which changes are likely to sustain into the future (and which might not)
    3. How to leverage cultural insights to connect across consumer segments
    4. Which brands and ads are on track to win with consumers and why

Presentations Include:

America Now: How We Have Changed Since 2020

We explore changes to diverse consumer attitudes at this key juncture in American history. Attendees will obtain exclusive insights into diverse consumer perspectives on climate change and polarizing issues, such as racism and the pandemic, compared to 2020. These learnings are key for 2022 planning.

CultureRate: Maximizing ROI from Targeted Multicultural Marketing

Our analysis of hundreds of brands and ads reveals insights into the drivers of brand Cultural Fluency and how to transcend the tradeoff between targeted and general market ads. 

Member Panel

Learn from America’s preeminent brand leaders in a discussion centered on actions internally and in marketing to stay ahead of the rapid changes underway in America. Hear how leaders from Pernod Ricard, McDonald’s and GSK are navigating the evolution of the modern American consumer.

Contact us today to learn more about how you can gain access to Collage Group’s 2021 Roundtable. You won’t want to miss this chance to learn where there is no going back and how you can ensure that your brand effectively marches into the future.

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Case Study By Industry | National Public Radio

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Case Study By Industry | National Public Radio

CHALLENGE

NPR was founded 50 years ago with the mission to create a more informed public – one challenged and invigorated by a deeper understanding and appreciation of events, ideas and cultures. This mission remains front and center, as NPR leadership recently challenged the organization to reach a new “North Star”: to diversify the NPR audience to reflect, serve and inspire America. With this focused purpose in mind, NPR’s audience insights team came to Collage Group to gain expertise quickly and in alignment across the enterprise.

SOLUTION

Collage Group partnered with NPR on a solution that would evaluate the perception of the brand among Multicultural consumers and identify key areas of growth opportunity. From there, NPR and Collage would dig deeper to unveil insights and define engagements to improve authentic engagement among key Multicultural segments.

Evaluation of the NPR brand on the CultureRate:Brand tool was one of the first steps taken by Collage Group to bring NPR closer to its goal of reflecting, serving and inspiring all Americans.

Fill out the form to ​watch our webinar, The “CultureRate” Brand and Ad Rating System: Five Lessons for Better Ads and Case Study featuring NPR.

NPR Webinar

CultureRate:Brand Evaluation

Through CultureRate:Brand, the NPR brand was evaluated on the Brand Cultural Fluency Quotient (B-CFQ), which measures how well brands are resonating with consumers. It assessed NPR along six key cultural dimensions: brand fit, relevance, memories, values, trust and advocacy. The B-CFQ Threshold then helped illuminate for NPR where they stood with diverse consumers.

“We were surprised and delighted to learn what we were doing well through the CultureRate report,” says Lori Kaplan, NPR’s Senior Director of Audience Insights. “The report also enabled us to dig deeper into the areas where we still had work to do. For us, this was specifically within the Hispanic and Black communities.”

Based on the B-CFQ, NPR performed well among relevance, trust, advocacy and values. The team was able to leverage this data–combined with an earlier CultureRate:Ad study that revealed existing creative was not resonating among Multicultural audiences–as a jumping point for commissioning an additional, qualitative research project. What followed was a study that unveiled how NPR could emerge as a “go to” media source across Multicultural consumer groups. Further, it helped them understand why they were falling behind within some Multicultural consumer segments.

RESULTS

NPR Mobile App exampleAs a result of the CultureRate:Brand evaluation and custom qualitative research study, NPR was able to answer a key question, “What do audiences want?”

“The research found that Multicultural audiences want to be heard,” says Kaplan. “They want to know that NPR is for them. And, they will see their experiences in our shows and content.”

To respond to this insight, NPR developed new ad creative concepts that Collage Group Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) evaluated for resonance among Multicultural audiences. The final product was the development of a podcast advertising campaign intended to appeal across Multicultural consumer segments with the tagline “More Voices. All Ears.” The campaign aims to illustrate listening, reflecting and sharing across communities and cultures. Further, it incorporates bolder, more inclusive, authentic messages.

After first launching the new campaign, NPR immediately found that the ad group is resonating among younger, diverse internal staff. At present, NPR is awaiting final confirmation of the cultural resonance of the ad campaign through a Collage Group CultureRate:Ad study, and has plans to continue to test, learn and refine the campaign based on the results.

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Día de los Muertos 2021: What Should My Brand Do?

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Día de los Muertos 2021: What Should My Brand Do?

It’s not too late to activate! With over half of all Hispanic Americans (and two-thirds of Unacculturated) celebrating Día de los Muertos, brands will want to make their mark on this important holiday. Keep reading to learn what consumers expect from brands like yours this Day of the Dead.

Día de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a traditional Latin-American holiday celebrating the lives of loved ones who have passed on. The holiday’s roots are predominantly Mexican, and celebrations take place on November 1st and 2nd. While Day of the Dead occurs around Halloween and may share some similar imagery such as skulls, these two holidays differ greatly and should not be conflated with one another.

Read on for key facts about the holiday, insights on how Hispanic American consumers celebrate, and ideas for how your brand can get involved.

What is Día de los Muertos?

Día de los Muertos is a two-day holiday honoring the deceased by celebrating the connection between life and death. What makes this occasion unique is its joyous—rather than mournful—tone. Celebrants gather together in remembrance of friends and family and have colorful parties and parades. They share happy or humorous memories. They make special meals and altars known as ofrendas (offerings) made up of their loved one’s favorite foods, items, pictures, and more. All of these traditions and symbolic gestures are meant to create a welcoming environment to attract the deceased’s spirits back to Earth on this annual occasion marked to keep their memory alive.

Traditions of Día de los Muertos

    • Ofrendas are offerings made to the dead and are built in the home or at the cemetery. They traditionally consist of paper cutouts (papel picado), marigold petals, pan de muerto pastry bread, and personal items, such as photographs, favorite foods, or other sentimental objects.
    • Skeletal imagery, such as the iconic La Catrina figure, show up in masks, puppets, colorful costumes, and face paintings.
    • Sugar skulls are a staple ornament during celebrations, often not meant to be eaten. Edible fare includes Mole Negro (pepper and chocolate sauce), Sopa Azteca (tortilla soup), and any foods favored by the deceased.

"(Spanish) We put up an altar with photographs of the loved ones who left and visit their graves, adorning them with flowers."

Unacculturated, Millenial, Man
Visiting gravesites and making alters (ofrendas) tops the list of ways Hispanic Americans, especially Bicultural and Unacculturated, celebrate Día de los Muertos. Decorating and having special foods and drinks are also central to the holiday. The Bicultural segment over-indexes on a few other celebratory activities, like having parties, watching special movies, and listening to special music.

Key Consumer Insights

According to Collage Group’s 2021 Holidays & Occasions study, 52% of all Hispanic Americans, and 15% of the total American population, celebrate Day of the Dead. When we look by acculturation, we see it’s most widely celebrated by the Unacculturated (67%) and Bicultural (54%) segments, especially when compared to the Acculturated segment’s celebration rates which hover at 29%.

Día de los Muertos celebrations are both deeply personal and communal. So many brands may be wondering if they have permission to play.

From the celebrants’ perspective, brands generally have the green light. A plurality of Hispanic Americans (32%) say that all brands and companies should celebrate Day of the Dead in their marketing. Bicultural (33%) and Unacculturated (42%) Hispanic segments are especially comfortable with brands activating, whereas Acculturated are least likely to care.

Americans of other races/ethnicities tend to be positive, indifferent, or unfamiliar with the holiday altogether. The good news is there’s little to no opposition across the board. This means that activating won’t cause backlash from other segments.

Brands that want to activate around Day of the Dead can do so in a way that’s well-received within the Hispanic segment (and simultaneously educational to other less familiar segments) by showcasing the holiday’s meaning and importance. This is the number one topic Hispanic Americans say brands should focus on. This type of messaging will be especially resonant with Bicultural and Unacculturated groups that are strongly rooted to their culture and proud to express their heritage.

One brand that’s developed an excellent educational campaign on Día de los Muertos is McCormick in partnership with Poderistas. Part of the campaign includes a landing page with well-researched facts about the history and significance of the holiday.

To learn more about Día de los Muertos, we suggest the following sources:

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Change is Now: A Special Video Presentation

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Change is Now: A Special Video Presentation

For years, multicultural Americans have driven all the country’s population growth and have added trillions of dollars to the U.S. economy. These changes can be seen everywhere from food and media to healthcare and financial services, and so much more.

Cultural Fluency is the key to authentically connect with American consumers across race and ethnicity. But, engaging multicultural consumers is only the starting point. Cultures evolve through generational change and forces encompassing how we identify ourselves, including gender, sexuality, family structures and much more.

Navigating these changes can be challenging, even for the most seasoned and culturally aware brands. In fact, no single marketer can speak well to every segment without understanding the incredible transformation of the American consumer.

For more than a decade, Collage Group has helped 200+ iconic American brands engage, support, and champion the voices of America’s diverse consumers. Explore our new video series to learn how you too can unleash the power of culture to drive brand growth.

Fill out the form below to connect with our Sales team learn how you can get started on your path to Cultural Fluency.

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Media Consumption Across Gender

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Media Consumption Across Gender

Media is a major aspect of American life. Whether it’s social media, visual entertainment, or audio content, Americans spend a significant amount of time and attention in the media sphere. American’s focus on media presents an awesome opportunity for brands to connect with consumers. But to do this efficiently and effectively, brands need to understand where people are going to consume media content, and why they’re going there.

  • Are they following specific topics?
  • Are they following influencers?
  • Are they looking for products to purchase?
  • Are they just killing time?
  • Is it device dependent?
  • Does it depend on the race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender of the characters or hosts?

Collage Group’s 2021 Media Study answers these questions. Our research reveals the specific platforms media users go to by gender, and what they’re using them for. This research also dives deep into content and platform drivers, including topics of interest and what consumers value in the personalities (e.g., influencers, podcast hosts, characters) they interact with across social, visual, and audio media.

Below are a several key insights we unearthed about media consumption by gender.

Fill out the form to view a sample from our research on attitudes and behaviors around Media Consumption by Gender.

Media Consumption by Gender

Social Media

Key Insight: Women visit social media sites to keep up with friends and family significantly more than men. However, women’s platform preferences vary by age.

About 9 in 10 women who use social media do so to keep in touch with family and friends. Overall, Facebook is the most popular platform for women staying in touch with people they know, but there are significant differences in platform preference between younger women (18-40) and older women (41-75). While 78% of older women primarily use Facebook as their main platform to stay connected with others, younger women use a more varied line up of platforms with their 2nd (Instagram) and 3rd (Snapchat) choices garnering substantially higher usage rates than older women’s respective preferences.

Women are More Likely to use Social Media than Men

​Visual Media

Key Insight: Compared to other consumers, younger women watch cable TV the least and stream video content the most.

While almost a third of older men and women still subscribe to cable and satellite TV, only about a quarter of younger women now pay for traditional TV services. While all groups are likely to use multiple visual streaming platforms to access the content their favorite content, younger women subscribe to more streaming platforms per person than both men their age and older consumers of any gender.

Younger Women are Using the Most Streaming Services

Audio Media

Key Insight: When choosing podcasts and radio shows, women prioritize relaxing content.

Over one third of women say they prefer podcasts that help them relax and forget about their worries. When it comes to choosing radio shows, even more women (43%) say that relaxation and providing a reprieve from worry is a primary consideration. In both cases, women are significantly more likely to use these criteria than men when selecting podcasts and radio shows.

Women Prioritize Podcast and Radio Shows that are Relaxing

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Close 2021 Strong with New Diverse Consumer Insights

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Close 2021 Strong with New Diverse Consumer Insights

More than 200 of America’s top brands have access to the deep cultural insights needed to engage America’s diverse consumers. Do you? Here’s a sampling of our latest reports that you’re missing out on. Contact us today for access:

America Now

Transform change into opportunity. This deep dive report explores changes to diverse consumer attitudes at a key transformational moment. Learn where there is no going back and build strategy for the future.

​Health and Wellness

Explore how consumer attitudes and behaviors toward health and wellness are evolving across diverse segments, from conceptions and wellbeing, barriers to access, provider preferences, and more.

Digital Media Consumption

Discover how Americans are consuming media / social media content and the evolution across consumer segments. These reports explore use of streaming services, non-English languages, and much more. Learn more in samples of our Digital & Media reports on race/ethnicity, generation and sexuality.

CultureRate:Brand & Ad

Assess the Cultural Fluency of your brand and ads and explore how you stack up vs. your competitors. Members of our consumer research platforms have access to a dedicated report on a brand or ad, which includes recommendations for a path forward to improve the rankings.

Category Essentials

Access semi-annual reports to keep up with America’s diverse consumers across race/ethnicity, age, sexuality and gender. These reports evaluate consumer attitudes and behaviors across 12 different consumer goods industries. New reports will be released that dig deeper into apparel and travel and hospitality.

Collage Group members have access to more than 10 years of consumer insights in over 300 studies with new data unveiled 3-to-4 times a month. As a member, you also get to the full reports recently released, including: Holidays & Occasions, Passion Points, and Cultural Traits. Contact us to learn more about membership. 

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LGBTQ+ Consumer Media Consumption

LGBTQ+ Consumer Media Consumption

Optimize your brand’s connection with LGBTQ+ consumers by understanding where they consume media content, and why they go where they do. Keep reading for key insights on social media, visual entertainment, and audio streaming, with downloadable deck and webinar replay.

Media is a major aspect of American life. Whether it’s social media, visual entertainment, or audio content, Americans spend a significant amount of time and attention in the media sphere. The time and attention spent on media presents an awesome opportunity for brands to connect with consumers. But to do this efficiently and effectively, brands need to understand where people are going to consume media content, and why they’re going there.

    • Are they following specific topics?
    • Are they following influencers?
    • Are they looking for products to purchase?
    • Are they just killing time?
    • Is it device dependent?
    • Does it depend on the race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender of the characters or hosts?

Collage Group’s 2021 Media Study answers these questions. Our research reveals the specific platforms LGBTQ+ media users go to, and what they’re using them for. The research also deep dives into content and platform drivers, including topics of interest and what consumers value in the personalities (e.g., influencers, podcast hosts, characters) they interact with across social, visual, and audio media.

Fill out the form to view a sample from our research on attitudes and behaviors around LGBTQ+ Consumer Media Consumption.

LGBTQ Consumer Media Consumption

Social Media

Key Insight: LGBTQ+ consumers are more comfortable making new friends online and are more likely to use social media to find community.

Community is essential to understanding LGBTQ+ consumer behavior online. Social media allows LGBTQ+ Americans to connect with other people who understand what they are going through and who can offer support. Social media also provides members of the segment the ability to share their stories and learn more about their identities. Because of the benefits that social media offers them, LGBTQ+ Americans are more likely to make friends online than Non-LGBTQ+ Americans, and more likely to consider those friendships just as important as “in real life” friendships.

Online Community Poll

Visual Media

Key Insight: LGBTQ+ viewers of all ages use significantly more streaming platforms per person, on average, than Non-LGBTQ+ viewers.​

While all groups are likely to use multiple visual streaming platforms to access the content they want to see, LGBTQ+ Americans use more platforms. Younger LGBTQ+ viewers use the most streaming platforms out of all the groups. They are also least likely to say that they feel overwhelmed by the number of platforms available nowadays.

LGTBQ Steaming Use Poll

Audio Media

Key Insight: When choosing podcasts and radio shows, LGBTQ+ listeners are more likely to prefer those with hosts who share their sexual identities.​

Four in ten younger LGBTQ+ Americans and three in ten older LGBTQ+ Americans say that it’s very important for podcast and radio hosts to share their sexual identities, significantly more than Non-LGBTQ+ people. Shared gender identity is also important to about four in ten young Americans, both LGBTQ+ and Non-LGBTQ+. Shared identities are also important to LGBTQ+ Americans when choosing TV shows and movies to watch and influencers to follow on social media.

The Search for community online

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