Measuring the Cultural Fluency of USA Today’s “National Brand Statement” on Black Lives Matter.

Measuring the Cultural Fluency of USA Today’s “National Brand Statement” on Black Lives Matter.
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In our latest round of ad testing using AdRate, we focused on USA Today’s “National Brand Statement” on Black Lives Matter.

In this video, USA Today takes a clear stance on the issue of racial injustice. The plain black screen starts out with just one name – George Floyd. In a matter of seconds, the screen populates with names of other Black Americans that have unjustly lost their lives, and in the background, voices of protesters grow increasingly loud. The spot concludes with an explicit message: “Silence is not an option.”

Screenshot of USA Today's Response to Black Lives Matter

USA Today’s poignant ad did not cross the resonance threshold with everyone, but it was a clear winner for the Black segment. It was the highest performing media/telecom ad for Black consumers, with an A-CFQ score of 80. This ad joins a very small elite group of ads that can provoke that level of connection (Head & Shoulders “Royal Oils: BET Black History Month” and Coca-Cola “History Shakers”).

The top performing feature of this ad was the message. And while it’s sobering, about half of all respondents appreciate the message and say it was their favorite feature of the ad. On top of that, 72% of all viewers, and 81% of Black viewers, agree that it’s an important message. This was higher than any other ad in the study. Black respondents shared that they love the solidarity from USA Today supporting Black Lives Matter.

USA Today’s ad is unique in evoking an array of emotions. While many ads tend to cluster around one emotion, here the data is more fragmented across emotions, which would be expected given the sensitivity around the topic. Even still, feeling proud is the highest reported emotion, and this is especially true among Black viewers at 31%.

USA Today not only took a definitive stance on this issue – they went all in. They used explicit language to name and remember the Black Americans whose lives have been taken unjustly. They expressly referenced Black Lives Matter. And they made a clear assertion that staying silent on the issue is harmful. This course of action was powerful in both supporting and connecting with Black Americans.

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Slow Improvement Amid Cultural Uncertainty: Updated Economic Forecast and Survey Results on Consumer Finances and Purchasing

Slow Improvement Amid Cultural Uncertainty: Updated Economic Forecast and Survey Results on Consumer Finances and Purchasing
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Given all the uncertainty and stress of COVID, it’s more important than ever for marketers to keep a finger on the pulse of important consumer attitudes and behaviors.

To support this need, we at Collage have been conducting an intermittent tracking survey of how 18 to 39-year-old Americans, a group we call the New Wave, are responding to this extraordinary time.  In our most recent update, we compare the trailing average of four pulse surveys through mid- September to the trailing average through late August.  Read further for excerpts from our full report available exclusively to members.

Consumers Remain Generally Hesitant to Engage in Social Activities But Trending Slightly Positive.

One key indicator for increasing economic activity is how comfortable people feel engaging in the social activities which drive personal consumption and job creation. The story here is that of little meaningful change: consumer hesitancy to participate in these activities is clear across the board. We’re over six months into a worsening pandemic and unsurprisingly we see that most consumers just aren’t comfortable getting back to life “as it was.” The only substantial difference across multicultural segments is that non-Hispanic white consumers tend to be more comfortable engaging in these social activities, while unacculturated Hispanics tend to be less comfortable overall.

Purchase of Home Care and Personal Care Products May Be Trending Positive.

Despite the greater concern with finances and slightly reduced comfort with public places overall, New Wave consumers report they plan to spend more in a few areas, notably home care, personal care, and beauty. We see some small movements in other categories as well, including food, home care, and beverages, but the real story is lingering overall hesitancy to increase spending on non-essentials.  The increased spread of COVID-19 as we head into the cooler months may be driving the expected increase in home care spending.  As the downloadable presentation shows, personal care and beauty vary considerably by demographic.

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Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Ads: Home Care

Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Ads: Home Care
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In this AdRate study, we had the opportunity to test a recent ad by Lysol, “Questions Need Answers,” released in July 2020.

Amidst these uncertain times, Lysol’s ad aims to answer people’s common questions about how and where they can use Lysol disinfecting products.

The ad creatively displays the questions as if someone typed them into an internet search engine and shows people all the unlikely places they can use Lysol – including game controllers, packages, couches, and laptops. And it was a hit! This was one of the highest-performing home care ads of the set, resonating with all four consumer segments – Hispanic, Black, Asian, and White – with an A-CFQ score of 75 or higher for each group. And this ad ranked within the top two for each segment.

The top performing features of this ad were the message and visuals. And a whopping 80% of consumers agreed that this ad has an important message – higher than any other home care ad tested. This ad does a great job of capturing people’s attention in a relatable way – typing questions into a search bar – even ones that may seem a little outlandish! And viewers seem to like the format of learning about the product this way.

Lysol’s ad clearly and effectively communicated the value of their products, mitigating viewer confusion. The ad’s confident tone resulted in high rates of positive emotions across segments, like happiness, excitement, and pride.

Interested in seeing this study applied to your business?  We offer all Collage Group members a free detailed mini-report on one ad and one brand for each membership subscription (Latinum and GenYZ). Members may obtain more reports on any ad or brand at an additional cost.

For membership inquiries, demos, or questions, please fill out the contact form below. 

 

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Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Nonalcoholic Beverages: Jarritos

Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Nonalcoholic Beverages: Jarritos
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In this BrandRate study for non-alcoholic beverage brands, we had the opportunity to test Mexican soda brand, Jarritos, with multicultural consumers.

You might expect Jarritos to do well with Hispanic New Wave consumers – and you’d be right – but you might be surprised to know that the brand achieved a cultural reach score of 2, being culturally resonant with the Asian New Wave segment as well.

You may be wondering why Jarritos performed so well with these two groups. On the slide below, you see the percent of each segment that agrees with each of the six components of our Brand Cultural Fluency Quotient (B-CFQ). We see trends both across segment lines (columns) and across specific components (rows).

When you look at the different components, you’ll notice that pretty much across the board, Hispanic Acculturation segments score Jarritos very highly. Asian consumers share much of this sentiment, but aren’t as fanatic when it comes to perceiving Jarritos as a brand which shares their values. So there’s still room to improve, but Asian consumers – who are often adventurous and seek out authentic options for food and drink – clearly have strong affinity for this Hispanic heritage brand.

For Black and white New Wave consumers, though, Jarritos falls behind. With one exception – the Black segment sees Jarritos as a brand they can advocate for, potentially for its cultural significance, even if it’s not one they relate to personally. This sentiment is something Jarritos can leverage in future campaigns seeking to broaden its consumer base.

Collage Group members get access to a free, detailed report on one ad and one brand per year. Members may also obtain more reports on ads at an additional cost. Fill out the form below to learn more about the benefits of membership, cultural fluency, brand testing and more.

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Multicultural Consumer Category Pulse Check: F&B, Alcoholic Beverages, Media, Telecom & QSR

Multicultural Consumer Category Pulse Check: F&B, Alcoholic Beverages, Media, Telecom & QSR
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The life of American consumers today seems to have only one constant – change. To keep up with these changes, we provide our members timely and relevant learnings they can use to fine-tune their multicultural consumer research and marketing strategies.

We offer these learnings at three levels:

1. Consumer demographics, cultural values, and passion points (Multicultural Essentials)

2. Consumer attitudes and behaviors within specific categories (Category Essentials)

3. Consumer perceptions of individual brands and advertisements (BrandRate and AdRate)

Understanding this second level – how diverse consumer segments approach the industries relevant to you – is the focus of Collage Group’s Category Essentials reports.

These biannual reports provide a high-level view of the category-specific trade-offs and considerations facing today’s consumers.  They contextualize what you learn about America’s major consumer segments in the Multicultural Essentials by placing these segments within specific industries and categories. The reports’ category-specific coverage also provides insight that can help you better understand how your Brands and Ads are doing as revealed by your BrandRate and AdRate reports. 

Through Collage’s consumer-level expertise and the input we receive from members on issues of high priority, we develop the insights you need to understand key similarities and differences across multicultural segments. Equipped with these insights, you will be able to better navigate topics of interest and importance for your category and target consumers.  We plan on revising all Category Essentials decks twice every year.

Collage Group members can exclusively access full webinar replays and more in-depth Category Essentials materials for the following categories:

Food & Beverage

QSR

Alcoholic Beverages

Media

Telecom

To learn more about our multicultural consumer category research, fill out the form below.

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Pulse Check on Multicultural Health Care Consumers

Pulse Check on Multicultural Health Care Consumers
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Multicultural and generationally diverse Americans express unique health-related values, preferences, and desires.

These include valuing health insurance for different reasons, preferring specific types of benefits over others, desiring health care providers that understand and respect their culture and background, and leaning on different resources when experiencing health issues and seeking support.

Health care organizations—payers, providers, and related companies—need to understand the many ways multicultural and generationally diverse consumers differ in order to successfully capture their attention through marketing, provide products and services that ensure they will remain “brand” loyal, and manage their care in a way that leads to optimal health outcomes. Our research provides insight into diverse health care consumers from five angles:

1. How do consumers choose a health insurance plan?

2. How well do consumers understand their health insurance plans?

3. How do consumers select a health care provider?

4. How do consumers make medical decisions?

5. How do consumers engage in health outside the clinic setting?

Below are two key insights and action steps to aid your strategy to engage with and win-over multicultural health care consumers:

1. Populations that may have immigrated more recently – Unacculturated Hispanic and Asian Americans – are the least likely to understand their insurance plans. Double down on providing resources for segments who may have language barriers or a general lack of understanding of the U.S. health care system.

2. While most people prefer to communicate with their health insurer by phone, multicultural and younger consumers are most likely to utilize digital channels. Make sure live CSR’s are available to assist over the phone with plan-specific questions, and continue to market your digital channels, focusing on their value and ease of use, to realize the efficiency they offer.

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What Brands Need To Know About the LGBTQ+ Community

What Brands Need To Know About the LGBTQ+ Community
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Fill out the form to download an excerpt from, “What Brands Need to Know About the LGBTQ+ Community”.

The LGBTQ+ community in America is young, fast-growing, and diverse. And it should be part of every brand’s growth strategy! Dive into our research for strategic insights on what makes this group unique and how you can connect with them to drive brand growth.

But it’s not enough to put rainbows on your advertisements and call it a day. LGBTQ+ consumers and their allies expect brands to back up their words with relevant donations, year-round support, and equality in internal company policy. And they need activations that feel authentic.

To help our members better understand and connect with the LGBTQ+ segment, we’ve created a study that leverages data from 2019 and 2020 Collage Group syndicated research initiatives, broken down by LGBTQ+ status and age groups. The centerpiece is our Cultural Attributes Profile, built from a dataset of almost 1,200 LGBTQ+ consumers!

We start off with some basic demographics of the segment, followed by their unique Cultural Attributes Profile. This profile reveals how they score on important characteristics including: anxiety, rootedness, exceptionalism, independence, adventurousness, and compliance. Then, we look at the LGBTQ+ segment’s influence profile, and specific social issues the group feels strongly about. Finally, our study concludes with a section on tips and takeaways for marketing to the LGBTQ+ segment. Below are three takeaways to get you started.

It’s no secret that America is quickly becoming more and more diverse. One fast-growing group is the LGBTQ+ community. Estimates show this segment includes at least 12 million American adults. And as laws change and societal acceptance increases, more and more people feel comfortable embracing their LGBTQ+ identities and are raising their hands to be counted. And they have money to spend – over $917 billion in purchasing power in 2017!

When you factor in LGBTQ+ allies—Americans that support the drive for greater LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance—the market size and spending balloon. Any brand that wants to succeed in 21st Century America needs to understand who these people are and how to connect with them.

Key takeaways include:

  1. The U.S. LGBTQ+ segment will continue to grow in both size and share of total population as society becomes more accepting of differing gender and sexual identities. Growth will be greatest among younger consumers who feel more comfortable self-identifying as LGBTQ+.

  2. LGBTQ+ consumers, across both the New Wave (18-39 years old) and 40+ segments, are similar in their core values to the New Wave as a whole. This is a result of New Wave consumers growing up in an inherently diverse society which celebrates and embraces once-marginalized identities.

  3. As LGBTQ+ stories and influencers captivate U.S. audiences, members and allies of this segment have higher expectations for authentic representations of LGBTQ+ individuals and content. This may result in accusations of “pinkwashing” when brands fail to meet these expectation

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Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Brands: Media, Telecom, and Sports Leagues

Cultural Fluency Product Spotlight: Apple Music
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Our recent BrandRate study tested the cultural resonance of 47 media and telecom brands and sports leagues.

One of our key findings from this study is that many media brands fail to resonate with multiple cultural segments. This is likely due to the highly saturated media space (there are 1,000s of channels to choose from) and the fact that many channels are targeted to specific segments and don’t aim for total market appeal. Nevertheless, there were a few brands that did resonate widely like the streaming music service Apple Music. This brand did very well across Multicultural segments.

Why does Apple Music perform so well with Multicultural consumers?

One reason Apple music performs so well with multicultural consumers is because of high brand trust. When you look at the different components broken down on the chart below, you’ll notice that all segments rank Apple Music around or above average on trust. This makes sense: Apple is a well-regarded brand with huge name recognition and is known as a pioneer in the digital music industry. When Apple launched the Apple Music service in 2015, they already had a reputation for quality music products from iPod and iTunes – Apple Music was the next logical product. And it looks like they’ve been able to maintain and extend their users’ trust with this high-quality music service.

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Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Ads: Alcoholic Beverages

Measuring the Cultural Fluency of Heineken
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In this AdRate study we had the opportunity to test a recent ad by Heineken, “Connections”. The ad reflects how people can stay connected to one another while quarantined during the COVID-19 pandemic. And it touches on the ups and downs of physically-distanced socializing. The ad was a hit! It resonated across all multicultural consumer segments — Hispanic, Black, and Asian — with an A-CFQ score of 75 or higher for each group.

Screenshot of Heineken Advertisement,

From Heineken’s Advertisement, “Connections”.

One interesting insight about this advertisement is that all of the ad elements (music, characters, story, and visuals) struck a chord with viewers. 

It’s not often that we see this kind of  balance among ad features. So this indicates there’s harmony going on in the ad where all the elements play into each other nicely. Achieving harmony among ad elements is an important step in guarding against viewer confusion, an emotional response that can harm an ad’s performance.

Another point worth noting is that this ad was seen as highly relatable.  Remember, it’s about both the ups and downs of socializing while physically distanced. It features themes such as connecting remotely with loved ones and the inevitable tech troubles that I’m sure we’ve all experienced by now. It functions as a reassuring reminder that we’re all in this together — nobody’s wifi or at-home setup is perfect, things kinda suck at times, but we can still kick back with a beer and connect with friends.

Graph showing that Heineken's advertisement elements are well-balanced and relatable
Chart showing high word-of-mouth metrics among viewiers

Our AdRate metrics indicate that Heineken’s ad was seen as both relatable and enjoyable. 68% of viewers felt like this ad was for them. This was above the ad set norm of 60%, making Heineken’s ad the number one relatable ad we tested. 75% of viewers enjoyed the ad. The norm was pretty high for this set at 71%. Even so, this ad raises the bar coming in at number three. And then for both of our metrics that point to an ad’s ability to drive word of mouth influence – talking about the ad with others and reacting to the ad on social media – Heineken’s ad captures over half of viewers. Again, over-indexing compared to the ad set norm, making it the number two most share-worthy ad of the set.

Finally, Heineken’s ad did an excellent job of eliciting positive emotions, likely an effect of it being a highly relatable and clear feel-good ad in the middle of tough times. The ad outperformed most alcoholic beverage ads in evoking happiness – at 49%, it’s far above the norm! And Asian and White viewers over-index, feeling especially happy watching this ad.

Graph showing happy, excited, and proud as highest reported reactions to the ad

We’re constantly conducting AdRate and BrandRate studies for our members that subscribe to the Latinum (multicultural research) and genYZ (generational research) platforms . If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of being a member, please fill out the contact form below.

Don’t forget to save a spot at the next Collage Group virtual webinar! Visit the events page for more details and registration. 

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Understanding Hispanic Consumer Preferences for Food & Dining

Understanding Hispanic Consumer Preferences for Food & Dining
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Is your brand effectively appealing to the culinary and dining preferences and passions of Hispanic consumers? Food plays an important role in cultural identity among Hispanics. It combines historic flavors with current trends, creating a source of cultural pride and connection.

In our webinar, Hispanic Passions for Food & Dining, we highlight key findings on Hispanic American food preferences and passions, calling out six key insights:

  1. Food is the #1 passion point for Hispanic consumers.
  2. Two in five consumers are strict healthy eaters.
  3. Hispanics are more skeptical of packaged foods, especially frozen foods.
  4. When it comes to prepared or fast food, Hispanics prefer convenience over fresh, but stick with authenticity.
  5. Hispanic Americans are more likely to choose less sugary options.
  6. Hispanics, like Asians, place high value on authentic cooking.

Fill out the form to learn more in the webinar replay.

We had a lot of great questions from webinar attendees and called upon our food experts to provide a deeper explanation. Director of Product and Content Bryan Miller and Senior Analyst Connor Wahrman weigh in below.

What do you think makes food a top passion point for Hispanic consumers?

Bryan: Some of our newest research further confirms that many Hispanics in the U.S. tend to be experience-seeking. Food is an area where we see this appear frequently. Further, for many Hispanics, food is a way to connect with culture and heritage. This does vary a bit by acculturation; a more detailed breakdown is available in our member platform. Importantly, most segments see food as a top passion point, except younger segments. For example, in Gen Z consumers we’ve seen more functional in eating habits/preferences.

Are Hispanic consumers interested in food delivery services: UberEats, Instacart, Amazon Fresh, etc.? Do they see these services as more convenient? Less fresh?

Connor: Our research shows that Hispanic consumers are most likely to integrate technology into their shopping. They use mobile devices to aid in in-store shopping and are most interested in curbside pickup services and secure drop-off locations.

Do you have suggestions on how to position my brand to leverage experiential eating, particularly during the pandemic?

Bryan: Try highlighting new and interesting ways that your product can be used… Think about sharing recipes online and/or promoted through social media. People are at home, online more, and cooking more; give them an excuse to try something new with your products.

Connor: Also, consider shifting the focus from “exciting eating” to “authentic cooking” experiences. Work to identify ways to make authentic, fresh food more accessible to consumers through DIY opportunities. For example, do for food/cooking what Netflix is doing with “watch parties.”

With the current economic system, how are Hispanic food purchasing behaviors/preferences impacted?

Connor: Hispanic consumers are most price-sensitive when it comes to food products compared to other segments, so they are most willing to sacrifice quality and brand loyalty considerations as economic conditions continue to stagnate/decline.

What are the key differences by generation? Is there anything that stands out for Gen Z, specifically?

Bryan: In general, we see Gen Z (especially younger Gen Z) tending to be more functional eaters. We suspect this is an age effect and that the attitudes will shift as they age. Shifts will likely stem from beginning to cook more, having more choice about what they eat (right now parents may be choosing), and having more disposable income.

Fill out the form above to access the webinar replay and contact us with additional questions, or for more information about our syndicated online research and custom capabilities.