February, 2016

Black History Month – Positive Advertising and Marketing Campaigns

2016 is the 40th year of Black History Month, which was thought up by PH.D. recipient Carter G. Woodson in 1926. While black history should be celebrated and embraced every month, the observance of Black History Month has served as a way to encourage an open dialogue of African American achievements in a European-history-centered United States. 

Image from Allstate's announcement of their new campaign

From Allstate’s new campaign announcement.

African Americans have grown more influential throughout time. According to a report from the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth, black buying power is projected to reach $1.4 trillion by 2020. That’s a 275-percent growth since 1990, when black buying power was $320 billion.

According to Nielsen, 62 percent of African Americans believe that embracing their culture is important. Any company or organization that tries to build a connection with or serve African Americans should embrace that as well.

Here are some recent positive campaigns that have engaged and spotlighted the African American community:

Allstate Insurance: Allstate introduced its national digital, social media and radio campaign, “Worth Telling,” in honor of Black History Month. The campaign, which kicked off on February 1, 2016, is highlighting and spotlighting the accomplishments of ten African Americans who are working to pave the way for others in the fields of art, education, health, agriculture, science, music and entrepreneurship. “This campaign celebrates the important contributions of African-Americans across a broad spectrum of disciplines who are making a positive impact on society and inspiring others,” said Georgina Flores, Vice President of Marketing for Allstate.

Empire: In 2015 when Empire aired, Fox decided to make marketing and advertising funding efforts for the show a priority, which paid off immensely. According to Adweek, African Americans make up 61 percent of the show’s audience. The team decided that this “hip-hop soap opera” was best marketed to diverse audiences in very different ways. Understanding their audiences and the qualities the show had to offer, Fox played up the family drama and music aspects to target the African-American and LGBT communities, along with the fashion world. It was a layered campaign that included print, radio, online, cable, broadcast, and partners like Fox Sports and FX.

Dove: Dove launched its body-positive “Love Your Curls” campaign in early 2015 The ad opens with a statistic that states: “Only 4 out of 10 curly haired girls think their hair is beautiful.” Although the ad targeted girls and women of various races, the ad contributes to the conversation about natural hair vs. relaxed hair in the black community. The ad has received negative feedback that Dove is a beauty company that prioritizes sales, but the presence of the normalization and embracing of the beauty of curly hair on television is a welcome change.

Marketing to and communicating with diverse communities is important to ensure every group is included and their values are celebrated. Kudos to these campaigns and the many others that do just that!

Video Marketing Rises in Popularity

Video-Marketing1Online content is getting shorter as attention spans decrease. Videos now serve as bite-sized content that keeps viewers interested.

According to an article by The Guardian, video is the best way to engage with consumers and to increase awareness of your brand.

Video will account for 69% of all online consumer traffic by 2017, according to Cisco. YouTube already receives more than 1 billion viewers per month, which is more than any other channel except Facebook. It is becoming a great tool for marketing, as its influence grows and becomes a factor in how consumers view a company. A study showed that seven out of ten people viewed a company more positively after viewing its interesting online content.

Video is an excellent choice for keeping consumers engaged because it holds one’s attention span longer than a still photo. Video content is also a very affordable method for small businesses and start-up businesses, as production costs are decreasing. It’s also increasingly easier to create content using apps, such as Vine and more. This means it could be a smart investment for your company. Nielsen says that 64% of marketers are going to be increasing their video budget and investment. Currently, about half of the market in the UK are using video to connect with their consumers, with this number expecting to increase dramatically.

Here are some tips to using video marketing successfully:

  • Think of your audience. Make your video relevant to them. If it doesn’t make sense to use video for your audience, don’t. Don’t waste time or resources.
  • Do not ignore social media. A large percentage of sharing and viewing happens from mobile phones – maximize that sharing and viewing potential by posting videos to social media.
  • Finally, be creative with the videos you make. Don’t be afraid to step outside of the box and be interesting.

If you have any questions about video marketing, please contact us at info@lavozmarketing.com