Multicultural consumers are one of the fastest growing audience segments on digital platforms and brands need to learn how to reach this expanding audience in order to plan effective advertising campaigns. That’s why YouTube’s recent Multicultural Summit focused on the importance of connecting with Black, Asian and LatinX viewers on the platform by supporting creators who know how to reach and engage with them in an authentic way. Kepler was invited to participate in the event as a member of Google’s agency coalition on multicultural marketing, which is just one part of our commitment to doing all we can to improve diversity, equity and inclusion in advertising.
“What I enjoyed most about this year's summit was hearing about how YouTube creators are not only strengthening that social connection with their viewers, but also giving brands an opportunity to engage with their audiences like never before,” says Kejsi Teneqexhiu, Optimization and Innovation Analyst at Kepler. “Authenticity and representation was a big theme throughout this summit, and YouTube creators are now able to provide diverse and inclusive content to really connect with viewers from around the globe.”
Reaching multicultural viewers on YouTube
Multicultural viewers make up 43% of the U.S. population and YouTube creators are able to connect with these viewers through unscripted content that reflects their passions—from cooking to fashion to music. According to a Google-commissioned study by Sparketing, 80% of self-identified Asian+ YouTube viewers say that they seek out content that makes them feel connected with the people they identify with, and over half of multicultural viewers describe YouTube creators as helpful and reliable, which means when making purchase decisions, multicultural consumers turn to YouTube creators for authentic reviews on brands, products and services.
Building the right tools for advertisers
YouTube’s Multicultural Media Center of Excellence wants to help advertisers reach multicultural audiences through content they love by evolving the media planning process, so Google has expanded media plans to include placements across culturally relevant content and content made for and by multicultural groups, including a 15% minimum spend commitment on media that reaches Black and LatinX audiences in the US.
Through YouTube’s branded content offering BrandConnect, companies can reach an engaged audience and tap into creators to make scalable content. And another one of YouTube’s offerings, Culture Labs, offers immersive consultations to help brands deepen their cultural insights and create campaigns and creative that resonate with these consumers by industry.
With the support of several DEI leaders across various digital agencies, Google also released their new inclusive marketing toolkit, All In, earlier this year. This toolkit includes practical advice on building the right team, making inclusive strategic and creative choices, eliminating stereotypes in marketing and holding each other accountable through representation audits and creative targets. Kepler was excited to be one of the first agencies to beta test and give feedback on All In before it was rolled out for a wider audience to use.
“My favorite aspect of All In is that it’s a toolkit designed with DEI concentrated in its roots and not just its branches,” says Justin Roberts, Director of Kepler’s DEI Center of Excellence. “I’ve wanted to see more multicultural representation in the creative I come across in my own life far longer than I’ve known what the term ‘creative’ means. Playing a small part in our industry’s commitment to instilling that kind of change was an incredibly rewarding experience.”
Improving diversity, equity and inclusion across the industry
Multicultural advertising campaigns aren’t as likely to succeed if the teams behind them don’t reflect the diverse audience they’re trying to reach. Google is also one of over 30 tech companies to have joined the Catalyze Tech coalition to improve DEI within their workforces. At Kepler, we’ve also committed to improving the diversity of our workforce and of the pipeline of talent across the advertising industry.
Last month, Kepler became one of the first 15 companies to have our plan approved by MLT Black Equity at Work, a certification program that establishes a standard and roadmap for employers to make measurable progress towards Black equity in the workplace. Over the course of 18 months of intense work on DEI we’ve also increased Black employee hiring by 400% at Kepler.
There’s much more work to do before the advertising industry represents the diversity of our global audience, though. To help more people from under-represented groups break into digital advertising in the first place, we launched Kepler Academy, a free training and externship program for students from diverse backgrounds. Participants who complete the Kepler Academy program leave with the skills and experience necessary to find an entry level position in the industry.
We’re proud to partner with Google to work toward a more diverse and inclusive advertising industry that’s better at reaching a multicultural audience.