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Real Friends Don’t Just Remember Your Birthday



Luis Miguel Messianu on how consumers simply forget opportunistic advertising

Real Friends Don’t Just Remember Your Birthday

I don’t know about you, but Hispanic Heritage Month has just started, and I’ve already overdosed on the plethora of social media posts and shallow brand celebrations. This feeling isn’t exclusive to Hispanics - I’m sure my African American and Asian American friends share the same feeling when Black History Month or Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month come around, as well as my friends in the LGBTQ+ community when all the Pride brand activations and campaigns pop up out of nowhere.

During these months, brands often launch new campaigns that demonstrate their support for these groups, but I would advise our marketing and brand friends that if they really care about these segments - which by the way, are the ones providing the much-needed growth everyone is after – they should show their commitment year-round, and not just on “our birthday.” 

Why do I and so many other leaders within these groups continue pushing the narrative that brands should show their support year-round? Because we can read right through brands’ intentions of leveraging dispersed calendar events. The sub text is that this seasonal support is opportunistic, and the efforts don’t come across as genuine and authentic, which can result in the opposite of what you were trying to accomplish in the first place.

Don’t just celebrate 'the birthday' - show your customer base that you think of them as people first in an on-going and consistent basis. It’s important to show you’re taking the time to understand where they’re coming from, where they want to go, what moves them and what they care about. Connect with them by focusing on cultural nuances and subtleties that go a long way when it comes to real connections between brands and consumers (or better yet, with people). After all, specificity leads to authenticity!

Not only will consumers see through these opportunistic efforts, but incorporating yearlong marketing efforts really pays off, and you can still activate during Hispanic Heritage Month and other segments’ celebrations, but as a dialed-up effort consistent to all the others you’ve developed throughout the year on behalf of your brand’s product or service. This can help you stand out and break through the cluttered landscape of marketing and advertising that we so often see in times like these. You will see a cumulative effect much more valuable than those yielded through “one off” efforts, which in most cases get lost.

As we all know, the real friends stay in touch with you throughout the ups and downs of life, while the “virtual” ones only reach out to you on your birthday, usually prompted by a notification from a social media platform. Be a real friend to your consumers and you will see the payoff.

Happy Hispanic Heritage LIFE!

Latinism Pioneer, founder and chairman at alma and McDonald’s global chief creative officer at DDB

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Alma, Tue, 27 Sep 2022 13:46:03 GMT