Just-released research from IPG Mediabrands' Magna unit, in collaboration with SXM Media, shows that culturally-connected audio ads drive brand relevance, favorability and growth among Black, Hispanic and Asian audiences, while outperforming general market-targeted spots.
The study, titled “Challenging the ‘One & Done’ Approach,” focused on ads in the clothing and dining categories and found that cultural-specific audio ads connect with multicultural audiences on a deeper level, driving positive emotion and brand impact and relevance, while general-market audio ads had lower impact on brand favorability and preference.
“Diverse audiences respond to representation in advertising, and they react more favorably to ads that are ‘blanket’ multicultural and, more so, culture-specific, with these two types of ads well outscoring those created for general population on a range of indicators,” Magna Executive VP and Managing Director, Intelligence Solutions Kara Manatt says. “As long as the spots ring true and do not fall to stereotypes, brands that create advertising for specific, diverse communities will reap positive outcomes across favorability, preference and relevance.”
Magna's study found that cultural references in ads are more resonant when customized for specific racial or ethnic groups. Likewise, the stronger the attachment to race/ethnicity, the more people like culture-specific ads.
Three-fourths of multicultural respondents prefer ads that ensure an authentic image, avoid stereotypes and take a personalized approach to connecting with people from other cultures through their communication, as surface level references in culture-specific audio ads, such as exaggerated accents and limited language insertions, are not enough to achieve authenticity.
At the same time, while audio ads aimed at the general market saw a 13% increase in brand favorability among general audiences, it was only a 4% lift for multicultural audiences. Similarly, the general market audio ads drove an 11% lift in brand preference for general audiences vs. just 5% for multicultural.
Magna's findings stress the importance of audio creative that culturally connects with multicultural audiences to drive growth, as opposed to a “one and done” approach. “While brand ads have become much more inclusive these past few years, culture-specific messages are still not every advertiser’s top priority,” SXM Media VP Sales Marketing Nidia Serrano says. “Specificity matters, especially for an increasingly culturally connected group who doesn’t always hear or see themselves in ads. Digital audio is an easy and effective way for brands to celebrate all voices and to be more relevant and gain the love and attention of multicultural consumers.”