Reaching a diverse target audience

To understand how PR professionals successfully reach a diverse audience, I researched several case studies. Two campaigns stood out to me more than any of the others: the “Pasa La Belleza” campaign by Edelman and Unilever, and the “Look Up and Smile for Australia Day” campaign by Ogilvy and Microsoft.

Both were success stories – one was the Multicultural Marketing Campaign of the Year – and unsurprisingly, the campaigns had many similarities. The connections I saw between the two cases were what made them so memorable and probably greatly contributed to their success in reaching a diverse audience.

 Some background information

Photo by Rob Giampietro

Unilever conducted consumer research and realized it was missing one of its target audiences. While the Latina community had a high awareness level of Dove, Suave and Caress brands, they were uninformed about various Unilever products. This was a significant problem for Unilever as its research revealed that Hispanic consumers spend nearly double the average on beauty products. So, Unilever reached out to Edelman Multicultural to begin building a connection with Hispanic consumers.

Photo by Ton Zijlstra

Similarly, Microsoft was set for its global launch of two new products – Windows Vista and Microsoft Office 2007 – but  needed to find a way to reach the Australian audience.  Microsoft felt it was crucial that media coverage encourage business and personal customers to purchase the product and simultaneously reflect the significance of the new technology. Its largest concern was that the proposed global launch would not effectively translate in Australia. Microsoft turned to Ogilvy Public Relations for help in reaching Australian consumers.

Both Unilever and Microsoft wisely turned to PR firms that know how to reach a diverse audience. The resulting campaigns had three main connections that helped me understand key tactics in reaching a diverse audience.

1. Understand your audience through research

Both Edelman and Ogilvy conducted research to understand the needs and wants of their target audience. The first step in reaching a diverse audience is to find out what they like and dislike.

Edelman’s research left them with the following insights about the Latina community:

  • They spend double the average on beauty products
  • They are less likely to try new and unknown brands
  • Free samples greatly influence buying decisions
  • Communication in Spanish and celebrity endorsements influence buying decisions

Using these insights, Edelman was able to construct a plan that would best reach the Latina community. Edelman formed relationships with credible and well-known spokespeople, held events with guest speakers and gave out gift bags with product samples, and created a website with beauty tips that allocated 100,000 free samples. Edelman also used the Spanish language throughout the campaign to engage Latinas.

Ogilvy was successful in the same way. Its extensive demographic and psychographic research about Australians revealed significant distinctions from the average U.S. consumer:

  • Australians place higher value on family and relationships
  • Australians care much less about keeping up with new technology

Ogilvy knew it must adjust its campaign to target things that Australians truly cared about. So, Ogilvy created a campaign focused on the celebration of Australia Day. In addition, Ogilvy paired with organizations and individuals well known and admired in Australia.   

2. Be simple and memorable       

Both campaigns had simple, unique slogans that resonated with the target audience and made them easily memorable. Edelman used the slogan “Pasa La Belleza,” meaning spread the beauty in Spanish. They wisely chose to use a slogan that specifically engaged the Latina community.

First, it is in Spanish, and Edelman’s research revealed that communication in Spanish boosts Hispanic engagement with a product or company. Second, it appeals to the importance Latinas place on beauty products: It directly tells the audience to spread the beauty (by purchasing these products). Third, it is a simple statement that is easily remembered and sticks in the audience’s mind.

Ogilvy also used its research to directly engage the Australian audience using the slogan “Look Up and Smile on Australia Day.” This successfully achieved the main goals Ogilvy had to reveal the significance of the new technology      while making the technology appealing to businesses and personal users. The campaign leveraged the celebrations of this special day while showcasing the  abilities of Windows Vista.

The event revolved around the creation of enormous artworks that were photographed using aerial photography. On the day the artworks were revealed, Australians were encouraged to look up and smile at the artwork and be photographed. Then, they could go online to to view the picture. This displayed the capabilities of the Microsoft product and engaged the Australian community simultaneously.

3. Reach out to trusted influencers of your audience

Edelman and Ogilvy both partnered with people that were trusted in the communities targeted. Edelman enlisted the famous Hispanic stylists Leonardo Rocco and Fernando Navarro. Additionally, Edelman teamed with a nonprofit relevant to the cause of “Pasa La Belleza,” Las Comadres Para Las Americas. This nonprofit works with thousands of Latinas to help empower themselves through beauty-themed events.

Ogilvy reached out to Gerry Harvey of Harvey Norman, who is a legendary retailer in Australia. Harvey sold the first copy of Windows Vista, signed by Bill Gates, at the midnight sales event “Midnight Mayhem.” Ogilvy also partnered with the National Australia Day Council and Microsoft Australia to create the event appropriately for the target audience.


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  1. Pingback: Top Student Blog Posts From Fall 2012 « The PR Post

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