Millennials and Multicultural Marketing

Posted by: Julie Ray

Millennials are the most diverse cohort living in the United States today. Among Millennials, 18.5 percent are Hispanic, 14.2 percent are Black, 4.3 percent are Asian, 3.2 percent are Mixed Race or other and 59.8 percent are Caucasian. This multiculturalism within the Millennial demographic has lead to a more tolerant generation. Older generations and Millennials both agree that Generation Y’s are more racially tolerant than their predecessors.

FlagsThis new culturally accepting cohort is changing the way companies are approaching their advertising and even business practices. Brands that are creating inclusive communities are winning with Millennials. Millennials that feel connected to each other in addition to the brand are more likely to develop stronger relationships with the brand itself.

Brands that are incorporating multicultural themes into their campaigns are receiving positive feedback from Millennials. Early this year, Coke released its America the Beautiful commercial during the Super Bowl. The commercial showed the song, America the Beautiful being sung in seven different languages and nicely portrayed the diversity in the United States. The spot reinforces sentiments of unity and community that are strong themes within the Millennial demographic.

Some industries are changing the way they do business in order to account for the changing demographic makeup of the United States. Recently, QSR Magazine published a consumer trends article on how the industry has started to consider the previously looked over large Hispanic demographic. The Hispanic population in the US grew 43 percent from 2000 to 2010 and big chains like Wendy’s and Pizza Patron have already started offering menu items to cater to this demographic.

Not only are Millennials more racially accepting of others, they also tend to have more liberal viewpoints in regards to the LGBT community. Approval of same-sex marriage among Millennials is currently at an all time high.

Banana RepublicBig brands are recognizing the opportunity to appeal to this group of Millenials. Banana Republic released a new campaign that features designer Nate Berkus with his partner. The Chief Creative Officer at Laird and Partners, the creative agency hired for the campaign, said the ad was not intended to be provocative. Instead, the agency wanted to “reflect our world and how we live in a true and genuine way.”

This shift in the demographic make-up is also reflected in the social media community. Twitter has been one of most used outlets in order to create inclusive communities that appeal to Millennials. According to a 2013 Pew Research Study, 14 percent of Twitter users are Caucasian, 26 percent are Black and 19 percent are Hispanic. Social phenomena “Black Twitter” has proven that brands can tap into different racial demographics through a variety of hashtags and handles.

For Millennials, multiculturalism is not just something that is talked about second handedly, it an inherent part of the Millennial value system.  It is also become a mainstay in the advertising game.  More and more brands will take the same route as Coke and Banana Republic and feature more multicultural themes in their campaigns. We will also see companies changing their products and menus to appeal to the rising Hispanic and Asian communities.

Leah Swartz contributed to this post. 

Photo Credit: Flickr via Martin Pilát &  Carlos Pons.

About Julie Ray

Julie Ray is Public Relations graduate of Northwest Missouri State University. She comes to the Millennial Marketing team with 4 years of marketing and advertising account management experience. Currently she is attending the University of...See Julie's full bio.