Rich media, social media

Once upon a time (well, actually just about ten years ago), YouTube was the go-to home for rich media, and it largely consisted of video, Java, audio, and vector graphics. The phrase ‘rich media’ was not yet widely known or used, but its potential had already begun to catch the eye of marketers and advertisers.

Fast forward to today and rich media as we know it – like Pokémon – has evolved. It is travelling all over the nooks and crannies of the interwebs in a quest for bigger and better things. Like selfies, rich media has found a comfortable new home on social media and it is there that is screaming for attention to all who are willing to listen.

Multiculturalism in Australian Small Business

I’ve been a self-proclaimed Sydney-sider for almost nine years now. Having had a culturally diverse upbringing in four different countries, prior to making Sydney home, I can say with confidence that my new home is one of the most diverse. The very suburb I live in ranks 11th in the recent SBS interactive “how diverse is my suburb”, representing 125 different ancestries. Chinese makes up the largest chunk followed by Australian, Macedonian, Greek, Lebanese, Nepalese and Indian.

Australia-India relationship grows stronger.

India has undergone a rapid transformation in recent years and achieved strong economic growth. PM Modi’s initiatives such as Start-up India, Skill India, Digital India and Make in India will certainly contribute to this fastest growing economy with a GDP growth rate of 7.5%.

The recent Make in India conference and initiatives for which the Indian Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley visited Australia is certainly a win-win situation for Australia. Australia’s research capabilities coupled with its innovation strategy can find the best home and scalability of operations in India. As a marketer, my prediction would be such initiatives will only strengthen the bilateral business relationship leading to more investments across both countries. Business migration is set to increase and it can only benefit Australia.

Thank God for my mum!

“Thank God for my mum” these words echo in my head while I’m watching her make my bed… With a newborn in my arms and less than six hour sleep, I am finishing my lunch. A chicken soup loaded with vegetables accompanied with beetroot and kale juice with compliments of Mrs Juric “my mum”.

She has been by my side ever since I have come home from hospital, cleaning, cooking, doing the laundry and grocery shopping. I know how lucky I am to have her by my side and appreciate every single thing she does.

Mάνα είναι μόνο μία! There is only one mother!

In 2002, the release of Hollywood film My Big Fat Greek Wedding brought to life many stereo types of the typical Greek family – some true, some not so true. What resonated with many “Greek-somethings” from around the globe though, was the portrayal of The Mother.

Greek Mothers are indeed a force to be reckoned with, for their gentle demeanour often fools those not so well versed in #greeklife.

Multiculturalism is not just a passing fancy

The camels have been shampooed, the taxi is waiting, and lights on the Sydney Harbour Bridge has been turned on, but “Where the bloody hell are you?” Does this ring a bell?

The 2006 Australia tourism campaign; after being on air for about 2 years, the advertisement was finally laid to rest; albeit in the receptacle of advertising history.

Redefining Multiculturalism – Learning from US Census 2010

A new multiculturalism is evolving and will change the face of advertising as it has started doing so in the US, a country marked and characterised by migration and multiculturalism. Multiculturalism has always pointed a finger at the minority. In the advertising industry it is treated as something not necessarily equal to but different from the majority.

The latest release of US Census 2010 information, revealed that Asian Americans with a
population of only 15 million have a total buying power larger than the GDP of countries such as
Egypt (Population 82 million), South Africa (population 49 million) or Columbia (population 45 million).
Asians in America have the highest average income among all racial or ethnic groups including white Americans.

The very definition of being an American is going through a profound change says Tim Wise author of the book White Like Me.

US experts such as David Burgos and Ola Mobolade in their recently launched book `Marketing to a New Majority’ warn of consequences of ignoring this market. The book states that “the business implications of this new normal are enormous. To stay relevant to consumers now and in the near future, brands need to re-think the way they do business. Ethnic consumers have become an integral part of the so called general market or mainstream, and are truly reshaping it. Brands must make ethnic segments an integral part of their overall business strategies if they want to remain viable and grow”.

The good news is that the US marketers are much more aware of the significant opportunity that the varying demographic groups present and realise that they can no longer afford to neglect the combined buying power of ethnic Americans who, according to estimates, make up US$1.3 trillion of all U.S. buying (source: www.americanmulticultural.com). So, to appeal to these highly lucrative and diverse audiences, many marketers are abandoning traditional mass-marketing practices in favour of tightly-focused, multicultural marketing efforts.

Wells Fargo is one of the pioneers in Multicultural Marketing in the US. Wells has worked on product development, channel strategies and communication strategies for multicultural audiences and the rest of the US banks and other marketers are fast catching up.

The ethnic diversity in the U.S. is reflective of a global landscape. It is important for Australian marketers to fully understand cultural differences, language treatments and purchase-drivers and to integrate those variations into their everyday marketing strategies and tactics. Tapping on direct translations from a lone office member who knows the language is not enough. It needs to follow the processes and systems as one would do for the mainstream audiences. Perhaps Census 2011 will shed more light on Multicultural Australians and invite marketers to think outside the square of converting multicultural audiences to a mass of faceless data.

By Sheba Nandkeolyar

In the Defence of M

By Hansen Ding

In recent years, Multiculturalism has been maligned by opponents to the point that even political supporters often avoid the issue due to it’s controversy. Politicians skirt around it so much one would think it was a shameful word. The modern debates which revolve often around issues of asylum seekers, boat people and integration of Muslim communities have threatened to derail one of the fundamental arguments in support of multiculturalism: the economics.

Australia has an aging population. This leads to decreased GDP per capita, decreased tax revenues, increased strains on pension welfare, decreased labour market supply, which all leads to making us less competitive in the global marketplace. It’s simple maths: over 50% of migrants are aged 15-34, compared to just 28% of
Australians; 2% of migrants are over 65, compared to 13% of Australians.

The Art of Stereotypes

I want everybody to picture a Chinese marketing manager. He’s overseeing the entry of authentic pre-made dumplings to Australia. His target market are suburban “true blue” Australians who like a bit of oriental cuisine, but find going to the crowded stores in Chinatown to hunt through suspicious products in foreign languages rather intimidating.

“Well first of all I know Australians like Green and Gold” he says to his copywriter, “make all the ads green and gold”. “We’ll plaster the adverts all over the Cricket and NRL matches!” he loudly declared to no one in particular. “Better yet, can we get one of the sporting stars to endorse our dumplings?”

“Australians may not be used to chives and dried shrimp, we should also create a range of flavours for them” he said on the phone to R&D. “And I want to really speak our consumers’ language, we should never fail to refer to our consumers as ‘mate’”.

“…on second thoughts, Australians like blue even more I think, make some adverts blue”. Six weeks later, ‘Shane Warne’s Bangers and Mash Dumplings’ (“full of fair dinkum flavour”) is ready for launch. Seems farcical right? Yet we often do this in ethnic advertising. We assume that cultural traits apply to everyone within the culture, and this quickly becomes patronising, if not extremely superficial.

Lahle Wolfe writes in Women in Business: “You cannot peg individuals into mass impersonal groups based on stereotypes” and “the more you see and treat customers like individuals, the more loyal they’ll be to your business”.

What applies to gender stereotypes applies to cultural stereotypes as well. Gary Nelson, creative director at Organic, a US multicultural ad agency, described his frustration with seeing a tyre store advert where a black woman danced incessantly to hip hop. Media is rife with such adverts, from huge Hispanic family gatherings to a black woman shaking her booty in the office.

Sure, the (very clichéd) relevance to the ethnicity is achieved, but where is the relevance to the product?

“As a Black man in the advertising industry, I find myself struggling with the ethnic marketing question.” Nelson said “most consumer needs (both retail and beyond) are cross-cultural… such campaigns don’t have to revolve around tired clichés and lowest-common denominator stereotypes.”

Indeed, such stereotypes are not only ineffective, but can be patronising or insulting. They also assume incorrectly that consumers are incapable of empathising with people of a different ethnicity. The sooner we gain a holistic understanding of ethnic minorities as individuals, with both differences and similarities to so called mainstream audiences, the sooner we better communicate to ethnic communities, and the sooner black women can stop needlessly dancing to sell tyres.