Cultural Experts Critique Super Bowl Commercials

While numerous football fans watched Sunday’s game, waiting to see who would be crowned victor between the Chiefs and the Eagles, we at Collage Group tuned in with different intentions.

February 14, 2023
Quintin Simmons – Public Relations & Communications Manager

We wanted to – no, we were compelled to – critique the most highly anticipated commercials of the year. As cultural experts, we regularly analyze advertisements and marketing campaigns for the nation’s best brands, so Super Bowl Sunday is kind of like . . .  our Super Bowl . . . but for commercials.

We already did a review of the pre-released Super Bowl ads. If you missed that, you can check out our analysis here.

As for the commercials that didn’t air until Sunday, our team of cultural experts had a wide range of thoughts. First, we noted there was a heavy reliance on celebrities, and in some cases, the joke or plot, or even the brand and product seemed to take a backseat, as if just having the star would suffice. Next, a couple of spots made the choice to lean on television shows that were popular not at this moment but one or two-plus seasons ago, i.e. “Squid Game,” and “Breaking Bad.” We did like that a few ads incorporated the use of Spanish. However, we noted that engagement on social issues that matter to many diverse Americans has definitely taken a backseat, and we were disappointed that not many acknowledged diversity or the LGBTQ+ community.

Here are our thoughts on a handful of specific commercials:

Google Pixel

Google Pixel’s spot was a favorite across the entire team. The ad features celebrities popular among multicultural consumers – Doja Cat and Giannis Antetokounmpo – and showcased a unique photo-editing feature.

Director of Cultural Insights, Katya Skogen: “When this ad played, the room fell silent. Everyone was paying attention – kids and adults alike. Something about seeing “magic” happen “in real life” really drew people in. From the cultural relevance perspective, this is a practical solution to a common problem, but this particular tool doesn’t cross the line into “hyper editing” or retouching that we know is putting so much pressure on everyone to get that “perfect,” SM-worthy shot. So, this lands well with Gen Z and Gen Z teen’s “Pressured” Cultural Trait, and resonates with their desire for authenticity.”

Research Manager of Cultural Insights, Giana Damianos: “Google Pixel continuously impresses with product innovation. It’s almost hard to distinguish – was the leading force here the ad execution or the product itself? Honestly, I think both are doing a pretty killer job. I like that the ad isn’t (doesn’t have to) work too hard to get the point across. The simplicity in the ad execution is what makes this great. I loved the cheeky examples of use cases. And I think that really helps portray the feature as useful in everyday life, and not for “perfecting” your pics (which could’ve started to get into a tricky territory of promoting photoshopping and face tuning and stuff, which is what I almost started to get worried about). I almost don’t think the celebrity appearances were necessary here. One of my favorite things was the music in the background! Really moved the ad along and made me feel in a happy mood, which fits the context of Super-Bowl-Party very well.”


A commercial from McDonald’s was also well liked. It did a great job of hitting various multicultural angles, including featuring a same sex couple, seniors, those with disabilities, and a bit of Spanish in the dialogue – not to mention a few beloved celebs.

Cultural Insights Research Manager, Jill Rosenfeld: “I loved this one, perhaps the only clear LGBTQ+ representation in any ad that aired during the entire game. Relatable even to those who aren’t big fans of the McDonald’s brand already because having usual orders at places and knowing your partners’ order is common.”

Research Manager of Custom Insights, Niki Goncalves: “Loved. It showed diversity in a way that didn’t feel forced. Used celebs in a way where they were more than just a ‘character’; it gave you a little window into who they are beyond their performance personas and made them super relatable. And the vignettes were adorable – pointing out everyone has this experience in common and of course loved the inclusion of the Spanish vignette.”


Then there was an E-Trade ad – a brand known for incorporating talking babies. This commercial inspired somewhat mixed reviews.

Executive Director of Cultural Strategy, Victor Paredes: “Investment is all about your family’s future and your kids. It’s a fun use of kids, which are a Super Bowl go-to. It’s akin to Boss Baby, yet cleverly able to portray the key value of E-Trade investments.”

Director of Cultural Insights, Sudipti Kumar: “I like that this ad brought back the E-Trade babies. Plus, its babies and it’s cute. I think this would appeal cross-segment because it is speaking to universal themes like weddings/marriage plus with adorable babies that everyone loves.”

Rosenfeld: “In my opinion, it’s very creepy to show the babies getting married, especially because child marriage is not even illegal in the whole country. Also, there has been a lot of news recently about Wyoming Republicans trying to veto a bill that would raise the legal age of marriage to 16.”


An ad from WeatherTech was very well liked among the group.

Senior Director of Cultural Insights, Jack Mackinnon: “Nothing shocking here, but solid, simple representation and un-politically addressing the economy. I liked the connection with Black Americans’ optimism. While obviously appealing to the more traditional ‘made-in-the-USA’ crowd.”

Paredes: “This is likely to connect with ‘American Dream’ nostalgia that is notably strong among Hispanics and Asian Americans, as highlighted in our 2022 Roundtable research. And likely to play well especially at a time where job security is important. There is growing interest in made in America in every segment.”

NFL Super Bowl LVII Commercial

The NFL’s ad was another crowd pleaser and successfully hit a few different notes in regard to diversity.

Cultural Insights Analyst, Alonzo Bailey: “This was a great ad. I loved the dynamic between the Hispanic girl and her mother at the end. Also, it featured a cameo from Billie Jean King, a trailblazer for women in sports (tennis). Overall, I’d say this spot definitely resonated with women and Hispanic consumers.”

Cultural Insights Senior Analyst, Jenny Wolski: “This spot showcased cultural nuance while appealing to the general NFL audience: It showcased a really successful Hispanic woman. It contains Spanish speaking, and touches on warmth. It appeals to women and the Hispanic segment.”

Skogen: “I am a tiny bit skeptical with respect to the actions behind the ad, in terms of supporting women in/by the NFL. But the ad itself was really fun to watch. The kitchen scene is the best – both from the bilingual perspective, but also, every parent/teen relationship goes through this stage where the kids are dodging their moms’ hugs and kisses.”

Executive Director of Cultural Strategy, Victor Paredes: “This was my favorite of this Super Bowl. The NFL brought it with their group of commercials, not just with the game and show. The ode to the women pushing the sport was super inspiring. The cameos were very thoughtful from the opening, and I loved the mom/daughter fun Spanish moment. It touches on the group traits across the spectrum, especially women, plus Self-Directed, and Resilience, among others.”

Feelings were mixed toward a commercial from

Skogen: “Everything I have said about the teaser still applies plus I appreciate the “As long as they have childcare” tagline. I think there is still so much stigma around moms (especially) who are supposed to love every moment they have with their kids, and sacrifice everything, including their personal enjoyment. So, to have a mom who’s shamelessly singing (ha ha ha) about how she actually needs a break from her kiddos – I dig that. And our own Parent & Kids research shows that younger parents aren’t willing to center their entire lives around parenthood. Additionally, Women’s Group traits reveal a tension between the desire to meet the needs of others and prioritizing your own needs, interests, and priorities. So, for me, this checks the box.”

Damianos: “I didn’t like this in teaser form, and now after seeing the full ad, I still don’t really like it. The settings are all very theatrical and fake. The part that tends to bother me a bit is the “as long as they have childcare.” My perspective is coming from someone who doesn’t have kids, but from a gender POV, I think the I’m-sick-of-my-kids bit is an outdated trope. If the message was intended to be one where women should be empowered to take time for themselves, that could’ve been done in a different way.”

The Two Dog Commercials: The Farmer’s Dog and Amazon

Two commercials played heavily into humankind’s love of dogs. (We love dogs (and cats) here at Collage – we post pics of our pets on our “Furry Friday” Slack channel every week!) Both The Farmer’s Dog and Amazon commercial relied on a tried-and-true ad favorite – the use of a cute doggie . . . or two.  First, The Farmer’s Dog:

Goncalves: “Loved. Biracial lead. Universal insight of growing up with pets, home love etc.”

Skogen: “Very relatable, tugging at the heartstrings for sure. And the central character (a biracial?) young woman with natural hair.”

Wolski: “Component of memories. Relatable if you’re a pet owner, but also just really touching.”

Vice President of Client Services, Zekeera Belton: “OMG, I loved The Famer’s Dog and was nearly teary eyed. It just touched on the universal insight of connection, family, and the love of pets.”

But the Amazon dog commercial had a slight plot twist, which garnered mixed reviews.

Paredes: “This spot contained a clever depiction of the pet/owner relationship, as well as a clear challenge that, at some point, all dog owners face. There was also a nice touch of subtle Spanglish drizzled in that I didn’t miss.”

Damianos: “I thought this was endearing, relatable, and authentic – that is right up until the narrative of the dog’s poor behavior. Once I started seeing that, I was feeling pretty nervous and scared for how they were going to react to and treat the dog. And ultimately, buying a crate, or even getting another dog, doesn’t really seem like the right solution to me :/ This was a miss in my book. And for how much they played into emotions, this didn’t have a satisfying story arc/redemption in the end. Did the crate and the new dog end up alleviating the first dog’s behavioral problems? I’m an animal lover and these are the things I think about.”

Kumar: “I really, really loved this ad. I can totally relate to dog separation anxiety. We got a second dog recently, and the joy of the two dogs together all day is amazing. So maybe I am the prime target market for this ad? It was just a sweet story, and so relatable in regard to the pandemic and people being with their dogs and then leaving them. Yes, I agree that they are buying the crate and you think it’s to lock up the dog, but in fact, it’s not! The family is helping the dog ultimately because they do love it, even if they are frustrated. And crates are just an important part of having a dog – you need crates to transport them, and to train, etc. Just a smart way in my opinion that Amazon speaks to how they help with the things you need. Also, it’s a Hispanic family, and there is the bilingual piece, too. To me, it does tie to warmth with the Hispanic segment, and how that does (in the end) extend to their dogs, too!”

Skogen: “I hated it! The emotional manipulation of a very different kind. And got especially turned off by frame when they showed the Amazon shopping app (sort of the opposite of what an ad should really conjure). And I am not even a dog lover, but the very hint that the family appears to be shopping for a dog kennel to lock up their (presumably) pandemic puppy who’s acting up because he’s lonely now. Not cool, Amazon.”

Avocados From Mexico

The Avocados From Mexico commercial was probably the most disliked (and a bit confusing), according to the Collagers. While the intent was assumingly a lighthearted play on Adam & Eve, there was a flag on the play when it came to execution. 

Paredes: “The brand sought to dramatize the versatility of avocados, while just having lots of fun with history. It wasn’t entirely culturally in tune, but rather irreverent and provocative.”

Director of Client Services, Chanelle Okenchi: “I didn’t understand how the Adam & Eve reference was applicable, here? I was confused after watching this commercial.”

Damianos: “I’m not sure how I feel about the Adam & Eve storyline. At the core, this is a religious narrative discussing the topic of original sin. The brand probably didn’t intend for it to be read into this deeply. But I can’t help but consider the gender implications in that religious narrative, of the woman being the one to initiate a sinful act. I don’t care for this ad.”

One message was really evident, regardless of our cultural experts’ hot takes on any individual ad, and despite the swings in themes, use of celebs, who was directing the commercials, and so on. The lesson is that the data on America’s demographic changes implies that more needs to be done to authentically portray cultural diversity in advertising. We need diversity behind the camera, too: on marketing teams, in leadership positions, and in board rooms. No marketer can be successful in the United States now without understanding and acting on the cultural transformation of the American consumer. Contact us to learn more about how Collage Group’s programs and services can help you advance your Cultural Fluency journey.

Other Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

Quintin Simmons

Quintin Simmons
Public Relations & Communications Manager

Quintin Simmons is Public Relations & Communications manager at Collage Group. He has over two decades of journalism and communications experience, having written and edited for a variety of publications, and servicing as media rep for a number of national outlets. Quintin, a communications and media relations expert, is always looking to connect and engage with writers and reporters.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of Data Insight Opportunity just for you

Touchdowns and Fumbles from the Super Bowl 57 Ads

Here at Collage Group, we pride ourselves in working hard to help the nation’s best companies – large and small – better connect with diversifying America.

February 10, 2023
Quintin Simmons – Public Relations & Communications Manager

But we also like to have fun with our knowledge. So annually, we get together to view some of the newly pre-released Super Bowl ads and this year was no different. Our experts grabbed the popcorn and sat down to enjoy some funny, witty, and (hopefully) diverse commercials over a Zoom lunch, with plans to banter about the various spots. Which commercials would best resonate with today’s growing multicultural audience?

One of the first things we collectively noticed was the great amount of teaser ads. There was no shortage of commercials that gave us hints, but by design, didn’t quite explain the premise or concept.

We also observed that many of the brands went the route of using lesser-known celebrities, or those well beyond their prime. One ad featured Aidan Hutchinson (a pretty good football player, but not super well-known), while another starred Ozzy Osbourne (a superstar in his day, but probably not very-well known among millennials and Gen Zers).

Disappointedly, there weren’t many commercials that featured diversity across race and ethnicity. Even diversity in terms of sexuality and gender was lacking.

A good amount of the spots made an attempt to lean into humor, while more than a few were rather bewildering.

The first ad we reviewed was one for

Director of Cultural Insights, Katya Skogen thought the brand made an excellent selection in going with Melissa McCarthy as the spokesperson.

“Her unapologetically confident embrace of self-care through indulgence is so disarming and oh-so on-brand for her. This is the essence of taking care of her own needs and on her own terms. And we see this attitude really resonate with so many women in our own research. Melissa’s enterprising and self-assured tone is particularly salient for Gen X consumers, the forgotten generation which, despite being in its prime earning (and spending) years, continues to fly under the radar in much of the cultural conversation.”

Skogen also enjoyed the gender role reversal displayed in the ad.

“A choice to cast a (White!) man as a massage therapist is a cherry on top of this already sweet, sweet spot. I should note that the luxurious, opulent setting may come across as alienating. But that’s true of the travel industry as a whole: When the cost of living ratchets up, travel becomes more of an aspiration, a luxury that’s out of reach for many.”

Custom Solutions Analyst, Maria Garavito also found it risky for the spot to be featured in the backdrop of lavishness.

“I thought the ad was a bit tone-deaf to the current economic situation. A spa day in what looks to be a private apartment, full of expensive art, and Melissa eating what appears to be jamón ibérico (a notoriously hyper-expensive food) is so completely divorced from the reality this country is currently in, it broke any enjoyment I could have had of Melissa’s acting (who I’m usually a big fan of).”

To that point, Collage has asked Americans how they are coping with the current erratic economic situation. Many agree that inflation has taken quite a toll.

Research Manager of Cultural Insights, Giana Damianos was a bit confused by the spot.

“I did not like the one with Melissa McCarthy. What is it really promoting? The setting was all fake, and not something you’d really book.”

The next ad we viewed was one for Rakuten, which turned out to be very well liked amongst the group.

Research Manager of Custom Insights, Melis Hernandez said she enjoyed this one the most.

“The Clueless reference was my favorite because as a Millennial, I love that movie and the ad elicited positive feelings the moment I saw Cher’s iconic outfit, and the main actress. I also think that it’s a great fit for a shopping brand like Rakuten.”

Clueless, of course, is a classic comedy from the mid-90’s. As if. Rakuten likely figured the commercial would score well with millennials and Gen Xers.

Cultural Insights Analyst, Elizandra Granillo agreed that this was a great spot.

“Cher from Clueless returns. Rakuten is an e-commerce brand, and Alicia Silverstone’s character Cher is obsessed with shopping, making it a perfect fit! This ad not only taps into older millennials’ nostalgia for the 90s, but also younger millennials who probably remember Iggy Azalea’s Fancy music video from 2014, which is a tribute to Clueless and starts with the same scene as this ad. And since late 90s/ Y2K fashion is so trendy, this also appeals to teen shoppers looking for inspiration for self-expression.”

Director of Cultural Insights, Sudipti Kumar is also a fan of Clueless, and thus also a fan of the ad:

“Total nostalgia vibes on Alicia Silverstone playing Cher! Loved seeing that and made me remember it was for Rakuten and so smart since she was/is such a shopper.”

To that point, Collage has been intently observing and analyzing the unique behaviors of younger multicultural shoppers.

The next ad: Bud Light featuring Miles and Keleigh Teller.

Skogen: “This one checks so many boxes when it comes to successful Super Bowl Ads: light humor, celebrity, cute dog, and, of course, beer – not necessarily in that order. The creative genius of this commercial, in my opinion, is in its cleverly layered approach. For all the fifteen Americans who’ve managed to dodge the 2022 pop cultural sensation of Top Gun: Maverick and Miles (the Rooster) Teller — this is a cute couple making the most of the hours spent on hold. For the Gen X parents who’ve seized the opportunity to share this blast-from-the-past blockbuster with their Gen Z and Gen Alpha offspring, seeing Teller on big game day is yet another sweet hit of nostalgia. As for Gen Z fans of the celebrity couple, the spot itself is a natural extension of #tellertok — a peek into the actor’s everyday life laced with a healthy dose of thirst traps, which are endorsed, encouraged, and generously supplied by Teller’s spouse, Keleigh Sperry. The creative team behind the ad offers an opportunity for each viewer to experience this commercial from their own emotional vantage point. But what really makes this spot for me is how relatable and sweet it is. Being stuck on hold – everyone has experienced that! A caring partner who’s trying to cheer you up? Yes, PLEASE! And a GUY fetching the refreshments? (A 180-degree pivot from a nameless, subservient lady of the house bringing chips-and-dip and cleaning up spills.) Well, sign me up for that, too! The only part that’s clearly fiction is that celebrities make their own customer service calls, but I happily suspend disbelief there.”

Cultural Insights Research Manager, Jill Rosenfeld concurred that Bud Light was a clear favorite:

“This ad takes a very relatable, painful experience – waiting on hold for customer service for seemingly forever – and turns it into a cute moment between partners. Miles and Keleigh Teller make the most of their hold time by opening a Bud Light and having a dance party to the beat of the hold music. It also stars the couple’s real-life dog!”

Next up was Avocados From Mexico:

Skogen was a tad taken aback on this one.

“Yes, the brand’s known for its cheeky ads. Yes, the jingle is catchy. But I can’t get over Anna Faris looking utterly dumbfounded and clueless as Eve. I might be overreacting, and all I’ve seen is the teaser so far, but I am peeved to see this kind of representation of a woman on screen. Tonal choices like this are one of the many reasons 46% of women are dissatisfied with portrayals of their gender in advertising.” (Source: Collage Group America Now Survey, September 2022)

The commercial from Pringles was a letdown, according to a few Collagers, including Granillo. She thought the spot had a great opportunity to reach diverse America . . . but ultimately missed the mark:

“I think the ad fell short on the story about this song and what it represents. We know that TikTok offers younger generations the ability to explore other cultures and be creative, so a good example would have been showing how this song became viral and how different people experienced the Made You Look dance challenge. This would have been especially appealing to Hispanic and Black Americans, who are more likely to engage across different media types.”

Rosenfeld also did not love the commercial, but for a different reason:

“My least favorite was the Pringles ad starring Meghan Trainor. It is not very relatable to many people showing her in a very fancy high-rise apartment, plus I just don’t like that song very much or think the joke about getting your hand stuck in a Pringles can is very funny.”

As a team, most of the experts were a bit perplexed by a commercial from a brand called Limit Break, a blockchain-based game developer. It was about a giveaway of NFTs . . . we think! Confusion aside, one thing was quite evident with this advertisement: It was the least liked by the group.

Kumar: “Disappointed to not see many multicultural/ diverse people in the ads! I did not like the Mint ad specifically because it was so unclear what it’s for and I don’t feel like I want to know more after watching it.”

Hernandez: “My least favorite one was the NFT gaming ad. I am not familiar with the brand or the product. On top of that, the ad felt low budget, and the quality just wasn’t at the level of a ‘Super Bowl Ad’.”

Director, Business Development, Joe Zigtema: “I’m probably getting up to grab a drink and snack during this commercial.”

Our overall assessment was mixed. Some commercials were pretty funny and memorable. But as noted, the diversity element was missing. We all wanted to see more multiculturalism. Garavito summed it up well:

“All of the commercials felt like they were targeted toward older people, white people, or men, and, as a young Latina, none of the ads really landed. (Also, worth noting that I don’t think a single spot we watched featured any Latine people.)”

Garavito raises an excellent oversight. Collage Group research shows that the U.S. is growing more diverse every year, and brands that fail to market to this growing demographic could end up regretting that calculation in just a few short years. Culturally Fluent brands understand that engaging diverse consumers not only is crucial to driving positive outcomes in 2023 but also will enable them to leap-frog competitors when the economy improves.

As an aside, we should note that in order to compile our thoughts and distribute them in a timely fashion, we decided to watch the ads a couple of days before the Big Game. Therefore, we could only critique what was available, as some brands decided to keep their commercials tightly under wraps until Super Sunday. However, we’re planning to provide an update post Super Bowl. Also, later this month, we’re releasing a CultureRate:Ad review of even more Super Bowl ads, so stay tuned!

Other Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

Quintin Simmons

Quintin Simmons
Public Relations & Communications Manager

Quintin Simmons is Public Relations & Communications manager at Collage Group. He has over two decades of journalism and communications experience, having written and edited for a variety of publications, and servicing as media rep for a number of national outlets. Quintin, a communications and media relations expert, is always looking to connect and engage with writers and reporters.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of Data Insight Opportunity just for you

The Top Ten Brands for Black Consumers: Insights from CultureRate
Read below and download our report to see the top ten Culturally Fluent brands among Black consumers.

February 7, 2022
Elizandra Granillo – Analyst

Culturally fluent brands are able to use culture efficiently and effectively to connect across segments. In this report, we share the top ten most culturally fluent brands for Black consumers.

Our list is based off our analysis of 320 brands tested in 2022 through our CultureRate:Brand process. CultureRate:Brand provides a one-stop solution for our members’ mounting need for a comprehensive, ongoing analysis of the cultural fluency of their brands.

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our
The Top 10 Brands for Black Consumers presentation.

Top 10 Brands for Black Consumers - guide cover

At Collage, we measure cultural fluency by gauging consumer sentiment across 6 key dimensions: Relevance, Fit, Memories, Trust, Advocacy and Values. These dimensions are weighed and combined to create the Brand Cultural Fluency Quotient (B-CFQ) score. The B-CFQ score gives members crucial insights into their brand’s resonance across different consumer segments and where to focus strategies for improvement. From all of the brands we’ve tested in 2022, we’ve identified the top brands for Black consumers through their average B-CFQ score and compare it against the outgroup.

Our list of top brands includes some that are universally appealing across segments (e.g., Walmart and Visa) and some that are uniquely popular among Black consumers (e.g., Sprite and McCormick). 

Culturally fluent brands for black consumers chart

Top Strategies from Uniquely High-Performing Brands:

Sprite and McCormick leverage key passions for the Black segment, speak to specific values the Black community holds, and connect on key aspects of Black consumers’ identity.
Sprite soda and hip hop partnership chart
Food and multicultural spirituality chart

Top Strategies from Shared High-Performing Brands:

Walmart and Visa boost their brands’ Halo Effects with Black consumers by having cross-segment appeal. Their efforts to educate, support, and provide spaces for Black Americans to thrive make them winners across race and ethnicity.

Brands that drive fit and advocacy chart
Chart showing Black American brand advocacy

Other Black Consumer Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

Elizandra Granillo

Elizandra Granillo

Elizandra is an Analyst on Collage Group’s Product & Content team. She is a 2020 graduate from San Diego State University where she studied Anthropology. Her previous experience includes ethnographic research across the Tijuana-San Diego Border Region.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of Data Insight Opportunity just for you

Winning Brands Don't Compromise Their Focus on Diverse Consumers
Survive and thrive in economic downturn by appealing to the new center of American culture.

January 5, 2023
David Wellisch – CEO and Co-Founder

In this climate of high economic uncertainty, brands are scrambling to update budgets, forcing hard calls about where to spend and what to cut. Collage Group represents a crucial investment that helps brands protect share among the diverse consumers responsible for driving overall growth, many of whom will reward brands with stronger than expected spend and loyalty.

As in years past, we enter the new year facing many unknowns. Given these blind spots, companies across every industry face the pressure to play it safe and pull back on spending. For marketing departments in consumer products and services, it’s an especially confusing time; combining low unemployment with high inflation is playing havoc with our forecasts for consumer spending.

But one thing is certain: CFOs and CMO are asking organizations to do more with less, demanding teams find more efficient ways to reach as many consumers as possible with limited resources.

However, this cost-cutting mandate can lead to unfortunate consequences. Brands can oversimplify messaging at precisely the time when consumers are demanding that brands authentically reflect the cultural preferences of the many diverse identities that now define the mainstream.

As a result, brands sacrificing insights into diverse consumers are likely to lose share to savvier competitors who have placed the diverse consumer at the center of marketing.

These savvy brands are delivering superior marketing performance by organizing around three fundamental realities:

    1. A wide range of culturally diverse consumer segments has replaced a culturally unified general population.
    2. Brands must respect and authentically reflect the distinctive cultural preferences of each segment.
    3. Activating these diverse consumers is critical to brand performance, as they represent the principal source of spending and population growth. In fact, many multicultural consumers show surprising resilience in their spending intentions.

While an increasing number of brands recognize these realities, organizing around them is what differentiates winners from losers. At the very least, it seems intuitively more expensive, requiring brands to target multiple cultural groups in distinctly different ways. How can winners achieve success while avoiding cost increases?

The secret to their outperformance lies in the use of high-ROI Culturally Fluent strategies. These combine authentic cultural references with universal human themes to connect with the entirety of our new, diverse mainstream. Indeed, they are winning precisely because the way they deepen connection to culturally distinctive groups appeals to all segments within the mainstream.

These Culturally Fluent brands recognize that engaging diverse consumers not only is essential to driving positive outcomes in 2023 but also will enable them to leap-frog competitors when the economy improves.

Collage Group is the vendor of choice for leading brands seeking to win in today’s uncertain times. Founded in the Great Recession when budgets were tight, our shared-cost membership-based model offers a cost-effective, proven alternative to custom relationships that helps the world’s leading marketing organizations build the Cultural Fluency needed to access, engage and win the diverse consumers defining the mainstream.

    • The Collage Group experience begins by benchmarking the Cultural Fluency of each member’s brands using a robust database of category norms, growing from 400+ brands in 2022 to 1000 brands in 2023.
    • Members apply brand Cultural Fluency ratings to identify improvement opportunities and refine audience definition across multiple diverse segments. These insights guide teams on how to respond to the behavioral shifts of diverse consumers in areas across every category of consumer spending, shopping behavior, social and values priorities, positioning and messaging, preferred activation channels, and more.
    • Powered by advanced analytics and data science referencing a unique, continually updated database of 250+ million data points, brand-specific insights are configured to each member’s target audiences, through linkages both to the cultural traits of target consumers and to their category preferences.
    • Supported by insights into how their ads compare to a reference database of America’s most Culturally Fluent executions, Collage Group members are poised to accelerate brand performance throughout 2023 and beyond.

Five factors predict the superior performance of our members:

    1. Higher ROI and Cost Displacement: Every year, we invest millions of dollars in a large team of consumer insights experts, and continuous, member-driven syndicated surveys. This investment provides members with a 20x multiple on insights output when compared to the cost of a single full-time employee on their own team, or the price of membership. Members not only realize immediate, always-on value from this stream of work, but can also significantly reduce the scope and cost of any additional custom work required.
    2. Track Record of Impact on Member Outcomes: Everything we do is designed to impact brand performance, from Awareness to Purchase Intent to Repeat Purchase. Our insights have proven time and again to drive brand impact in changing times, such as when brands turned to Collage Group to understand how COVID and the social justice movements of 2020 were transforming consumer behavior across all segments.
    3. Always-on Access for Users: Collage Group’s Cultural Intelligence Platform, our core offering, includes more than 10 years of syndicated research, with new research out weekly, giving every user on your brand and marketing team continuous access to insights.
    4. Increased Organizational Alignment, Understanding and Empowerment: Our high-touch Customer Success organization fine tunes and curates these insights for each member, driving maximum impact on the member organization, enrolling staff in the mission, and supporting a roadmap that builds Cultural Fluency.
    5. Ability to Translate Our Cultural Expertise into Member Actions and Strategies: Collage Group leverages a deep bench of cultural experts, highly experienced at working with the Insights and Marketing professionals at the world’s leading brands. We are passionate about achieving each Member’s growth goals, whether powered by our syndicated insights or the proprietary custom insights prepared by our Solutions team.

We pride ourselves on being the provider most trusted by the world’s top brands for insights into the new American mainstream of diverse consumers.

Other Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

David Wellisch

David Wellisch
CEO and Co-Founder

David Wellisch is CEO & Co-Founder of Collage Group, a consumer insights and intelligence company with a focus on research exploring race/ethnicity, generation, sexuality and gender. Since the inception of Collage Group in 2009, David has led the company through growth, now serving more than 200 brands in across 15 industries. David is passionate about entrepreneurship and company building, and often works directly with members to help guide the integration of multicultural consumer insights and marketing strategies.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of Data Insight Opportunity just for you

Explore Our Most Popular 2022 Consumer Insights
2022 shaped up to be quite the interesting year and America’s iconic brands relied on Collage Group insights to engage and win diverse consumers through it all.

January 3, 2023
David Evans – Chief Insights Officer

As we navigated continued polarization on social issues, an ever-changing COVID environment, and a challenging economic climate, the evolution of the American consumer remained certain. Here’s a look back at the landscape of 2022 through some of our most popular diverse consumer insights.

1. Guard Against Recession with Cultural Insights

August 2022

Economic fears have been a key concern for Americans this past year, and they continue into ‘23. In light of that, Collage Group advised brands to steer clear of certain terminology, as some words and phrases are off-putting to many Americans. Our research unveiled that brands should avoid worsening consumers’ political anxieties with terms like “the economy,” “recession,” and “inflation”–which stoke unrest. Also of note, during this Summer, Hispanic consumers shifted their purchasing to brace for the future, whereas Black Americans remained optimistic and kept purchasing steady. With these insights, brands adjusted messaging to avoid negative sentiment and backlash.

2. Respect for Diverse Consumers Begins with Respecting the Terminology They Prefer

July 2022

Collage Group members relied on our expertise to engage culture with a deep understanding of the words that define it. Our work unveils consumer reaction to terms like Latinx and BIPOC, the nuances of Hispanic vs. Latino and Black vs. African American. And it digs deeper into the labels and/or identifiers each consumer segment preference and double-click by age, gender and more. For example, Black Americans are generally positive regarding both Black and African American as general descriptors, while Hispanic Americans are most favorable toward the terms Hispanic and Latino/Latina. This holds true across generation and country of origin. Moreover, although “Latinx” is a polarizing term, younger Hispanic Americans tend to feel positive toward it. Get diverse consumer terminology right with our deep insights.

3. Multicultural Americans View Staying Healthy as a Matter of Personal Responsibility

January 2022

Our Category Essentials on health and wellness provides brands with insights on consumers’ approaches to physical health and well-being. This research unveils how many Americans are most likely to perceive lack of exercise and poor diet as barriers to their own health. Further, it explores multicultural American attitudes and behaviors toward health, as they are less likely to use regular doctor visits. This research equipped brands with lessons on engaging with these consumers and activating on the learnings.

4. Respecting Country of Origin Deepens Resonance with Hispanics

March 2022

Hispanic Americans are a growing force in the U.S. and their population is projected to nearly double by 2060. Understanding the cultural and economic power of the Hispanic American segment is essential for authentic engagement. Hispanic Americans are not monolithic. Heritage and country of origin matter to their identity, particularly for the Unacculturated and Bicultural segments. America’s leading brands activated on this insight by highlighting the rich heritage and contributions of Hispanic Americans and include messages that speak to the segment’s different cultural backgrounds. Access more insights for action.

5. Locking in the Loyalty of Young Consumers Depends on Respecting Their Diversity

September 2022

Did you know that Gen Alpha and Gen Z are the most racially and ethnically diverse cohorts of Americans to date? Many brands are missing out on resonating with older Gen Alphas and younger Gen Z members, and as a result, also failing to connect with the parents of these young consumers. Those in generations Alpha and Z are unique, as standing out is the new fitting in, so it’s understandable that brands need guidance on the best approach. Collage Group explains that forging a connection now is vital as the relationship will pay dividends for years to come, including pay off with the Millennial parents who contribute a sizable portion to America’s spending. This highly read blog, as part of our Generations and Parents & Kids programs, is chock full of even more insights and leadership, and explains how to authentically engage among these consumers.

6. Understanding Historical Context for Black Americans Helps Brands Authentically Connect

June 2022

The history of Black Americans in this country, including systemic and institutional racism and race-related violence that continues today, results in Black Americans identifying with their race stronger than any other segment. However, they are increasingly disappointed with how brands choose to portray them in advertising. Brands struggling to correct this reality rely on Collage Group’s Essentials of Black Consumers, which provides key guidance that put brands in position to authentically connect with Black Americans. In these frequently updated insights, Collage Group examines three areas of our consumer fundamentals research: demographics, identity, and group traits.

7. Multicultural Americans Prioritize Food Health over Taste

December 2022

Food and beverage brands, and entertainment companies, tailored their offerings based on vital findings that revealed how multicultural Americans consume, buy, and perceive food. Asian consumers, for example, prefer foods that are fresh, high in vitamins, and have no artificial flavors. Black consumers seek low-sodium meals, while Hispanic Americans tend to pursue foods that are low in fat. Social media also comes into play, as it has become a popular source for recipes among Hispanic Americans. Activate on these insights to successfully capture multicultural consumers’ attention and spending.

8. Most Consumers Across Every Racial Group Want Brands To Support Diverse Identities

November 2022

Collage Group helped brands navigate the unprecedented social, economic, and public health upheavals–and continued shifts from 2020 to 2022. In our annual America Now research we explain how national issues have changed the perspectives and behaviors of diverse American consumers, and this year, dug deeper into the American Dream. Diverse consumers are now more likely than ever to choose the brands that support their diverse identities and represent them better in advertising. Through these insights released at our Annual Member Roundtable, brands gain valuable information on key social, political and economic issues. With this knowledge in hand, brands activate on the values and issues consumers care most about.

9. Connecting with LGBTQ+ Begins with Respecting The Internal Diversity of this Group

February 2022

When engaging with the LGBTQ+ community, it’s important to understand terminology, from acronyms to identity. Collage Group helped brands appreciate that language entails more than saying the right word or referring to the right person, as it is more about relaying dignity and empathy. Once brands recognize that terminology is really a matter of respect, they are in a favorable position to engage with the LGBTQ+ community. Our member brands authentically engage with and support the LGBTQ+ community with language that reflects their values.

10. Brands Win Hispanics By Aligning Their Positioning With Hispanic Cultural Traits

September 2022

Based on a CultureRate analysis of more than 250 brands, Collage Group identified the top ten brands that resonate with Hispanic consumers, and why. These brands showcase two elements for success: 1) strong commitment to the Hispanic community and 2) excellence in marketing executions that authentically resonate with the cultural traits and needs of Hispanic consumers. Our members activate on these learnings in a variety of ways, including investing in trusted grassroots community organizations, and developing high-touch immersive experiences that drive critical interaction. Hispanic consumers are loyal shoppers and will back brands that are proven advocates.This

Other Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

David Evans

David Evans
Chief Insights Officer

David serves as the Chief Insights Officer responsible for content, data science and innovation. He is passionate about creating the critical insights that can transform the fortunes of our members, informing how we create an unparalleled member experience with our products, and build great places to work.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of Data Insight Opportunity just for you

Start 2023 Strong with New Diverse Consumer Insights
We are incredibly excited to enter the new year with our biggest plans yet for expanding the depth of our cultural intelligence–all centered on helping you thrive in our transformational environment.

December 21, 2022
David Wellisch – CEO and Co-Founder

You’ll see an increased focus on the three core integrated research streams that feed our platform: the Cultural Fluency of brands and ads, the cultural profiles of diverse segments and their category, shopper, and media needs. This work aims to give you an even more expanded view of your core and target consumers, deeper insights into how your brands and ads stack up to your competitors, and analytics to identify the trends most likely to result in consumption changes in your category.

Amidst challenging economic circumstances, Collage Group is pleased to be a relied-upon resource that enables brands to access necessary insights through one comprehensive platform.

Contact us at the form below to learn more about how you can gain access to these
diverse consumer insights and much more in our Cultural Intelligence Platform.

Brand & Ad Performance

How the Best Ads & Brands Drive Cultural Fluency

To build loyalty, brands must move beyond generic activations. Discover new studies that offer an analysis of top performing ads and brands in our CultureRate database for Black, Millennial, and LGBTQ+ consumers that are proven to affect your ROI. Other segments will be addressed throughout the year.

Measure Ad and Brand Cultural Fluency with CultureRate

Collage Group members receive one complimentary ad and brand submission per year to measure Cultural Fluency and inform future creative content. This is imperative if you want to position your brand values to truly connect with diverse America. Join Collage Group as a member and take part in this review of your brand and marketing!

Consumer Cultural Traits

Win the Attention of  New-ish Parents to Drive Growth

Parents of younger generations are at peak expenditures – do you know how to capture that market share? In this study, we’ll investigate the motivations and behaviors of parents of kids under 5 years old. Brands will learn how to increase trust and relevance with this important and evolving segment.

Drive Brand Relevance with Consumer Cultural Traits

Our Consumer Essentials research provides key cultural values and traits brands must understand to authentically connect with diverse segments, specifically the motivations toward purchasing decisions. For 2023, we’ll include year-over-year data when relevant and novel activations across all diverse segments.

Deep Dive into Key Demographic Insights to Size Your Brand’s Opportunity

Join us as we analyze the most recent demographic data from the U.S Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. We’ll cover key topics like population growth, immigration, household makeup, income, and spending shifts.  Don’t miss this chance to understand the numbers behind the majors cultural and demographic shifts taking place in America!

Steps to Make Your Brand Matter to Parents of America’s Diverse Teenagers

Do you know what matters most to parents of today’s teenagers? Discover all new insights for the parents of the cohort that’s going through the most crucial formative years, gaining spending and decision-making autonomy, and actively looking for brands that share their values and sensibilities.

Category & Product Insights

Build Trust with Americans in the Health and Wellness Space

Take a continued exploration of consumer health and wellness attitudes and behaviors. Brand-new webinars and research will cover consumer health behaviors, barriers, and support and improvement requests, among other topics. Up first: a deep dive into how LGBTQ+ consumers and consumers across genders are changing.

Boost Brand Fit Within Your Category

Category-specific insights are crucial to your marketing strategy, and our offerings in 2023 will be no different! Join us for studies covering category drivers, changing channel behavior and—when relevant—the impact of innovative substitutes across a multitude of categories, including Alcoholic Beverage, Personal Care, and Apparel in Q1 and many more to follow.

Other Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

David Wellisch

David Wellisch
CEO and Co-Founder

David Wellisch is CEO & Co-Founder of Collage Group, a consumer insights and intelligence company with a focus on research exploring race/ethnicity, generation, sexuality and gender. Since the inception of Collage Group in 2009, David has led the company through growth, now serving more than 200 brands in across 15 industries. David is passionate about entrepreneurship and company building, and often works directly with members to help guide the integration of multicultural consumer insights and marketing strategies.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of Data Insight Opportunity just for you

Holiday Shopping and Younger Multicultural Consumers
Rising prices are affecting Americans’ shopping behaviors in a variety of ways. Despite financial challenges, holiday shopping remains a priority for many younger Multicultural Americans.

December 14, 2022
Sudipti Kumar – Associate Director

Inflation is a pressing concern for most Americans today. This summer, Collage Group launched an urgent initiative into consumer attitudes and behaviors related to the present economic situation. More recently, we followed up to better understand how rising prices may be affecting younger Multicultural Americans’ shopping preferences during the holiday season.

Key Insight #1

Overall we found that despite the backdrop of financial challenges, most younger Americans will be spending the same or more this holiday season. This is particularly true of Black Americans’ who are also the least likely to have made changes to their shopping behaviors due to rising prices across a variety of categories.

Financial worries and holiday shopping chart

Key Insight #2

For those younger Americans who do plan to spend more this holiday season, the main reason is that they have more money to spend. Asian and White Americans are more likely to have more people to shop for on their gift buying lists.

Younger generations holiday shopping related to income chart

Key Insight #3

For those Younger Americans who are spending less this holiday season, it’s not surprising that having less money to spend tops the list of reasons why they are spending less followed closely by the higher costs of gifts this year. Hispanic and Asian Americans are more likely to be saving for a bigger purchase than other segments.

younger Americans holiday shopping chart

So what can your brand do to support shoppers this holiday season?

    1. Offer value driven strategies that can help Americans spend “smart”. Expedited shipping for free or at a low cost and price-match guarantees are two examples of helping consumers who are feeling the effects of inflation but still want to shop during the holidays.
    2. Convert new customers who seek out your brand for the first time to brand loyalists through a strong customer relationship management strategy.
    3. Offer sales and discounts throughout the month of December to appeal to the many shoppers who take advantage of the whole month (and the steep discounts right after) to buy their gifts.

Other Multicultural Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

Sudipti Kumar

Sudipti Kumar
Associate Director

Sudipti is an Associate Director on Collage Group’s Product and Content team. She is a graduate from NYU’s Stern School of Business where she studied finance and marketing, and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs where she received her Masters in Public Administration. In her spare time, Sudipti enjoys reading, cooking, and learning to crochet.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of Data Insight Opportunity just for you

Top Ads From 2022 That Resonate With Younger Black Consumers

In a recent Collage Group study, we analyzed more than 80 commercials in order to determine which advertisements resonated the best among younger Black consumers aged 18-42.

December 13, 2022
David Evans – Chief Insights Officer

The analysis assesses ad performance using the Ad Cultural Fluency Quotient, or the A-CFQ. The A-CFQ measures consumer sentiment across four key dimensions. These include Brand Fit (the ad fits the brand), Relevance (the ad is for people like me), Message (the ad has an important message) and Enjoyment (the ad is enjoyable to watch).

The study was concentrated on adult Gen Z and millennials of all racial backgrounds. Collage Group refers to these as “New Wave” consumers. They have become a powerful buying force, and they also reveal preferences predictive of future marketing performance.

New wave of diverse young consumers chart

The findings show that New Wave Black consumers gravitated the most to 10 ads from these brands: Band-Aid, Dove, two ads from Walmart, Air Wick, Target, Silk, Snickers, Little Caesars, and Folgers.

Younger Black Americans who make up the Gen Z and millennial demographic were inspired by these 10 spots. While consumers were drawn to each advertisement for different reasons, jointly every one of these commercials connected with Black consumers through an engaging, authentic message.

Top 10 culturally fluent ads for black Americans

Achieving a high score on “Message” is a distinguishing feature of all the ads deemed to be considered one of the top 10.

Most of the leading commercials prominently feature Black actors and actresses. Featuring these actors emphasizes the significance of representation in advertising for brands seeking to connect with the Black demographic.

When Black consumers witness authentically drawn Black actors in an ad, they are then inclined to take notice. Brands therefore should make note of that insight and use it to connect with these consumers.

For Black New Wavers, 49% say that it is important that commercials show people of their race or ethnicity, compared to 34% of non-Black New Wavers.

Brands are paying attention, and as a result, companies are enhancing how they represent multicultural people in their commercials. In general, Black Americans support companies who they view as loyal or as allies. To that point, 80% of Black Americans are more likely to go out of their way to purchase items from brands and companies that publicly support Black people and Black causes.

Out of all of the mentioned ads, five of the top 10 speak directly to being supportive of the Black demographic. Marketers recognize that young Black consumers expect brand support and in return, these buyers will respond by purchasing that brand’s products.

A commercial from Dove – the number two ranked ad for Black consumers in the study – brings an endearing message about a young Black girl encountering hair discrimination. After facing race-based hair discrimination throughout her childhood, she asserts that she will fight against the bias as an adult.

The spot turned out to be quite popular among young Black consumers, as 75% of Black New Wavers say they would react to the commercial on social media. A large majority of Black New Wavers, 71%, said they would discuss the ad with others, and 39% think that the best parts of the ad are the people and the characters.

The Dove commercial is successful at reaching the strong desire among Black New Wavers to “live their lives authentically,” which includes how they present themselves. It also scores high among this segment because of its focus on being real, and true to oneself, which drives Relevance and Message.

Moreover, it is essential that brands understand the possible negative ramifications of failing to market toward certain groups.

A portion of Americans say they will no longer use or buy from a brand whose advertising lacks racial and ethnic diversity. So, with Black Americans for example, this would mean by not targeting them, a brand is potentially losing 13 million Black customers.

The takeaway for brands is to appreciate that Black consumers do indeed reward those brands and companies that speak authentically to various Black group traits and cultural passions.

For brands looking to better engage with young Black consumers, they should take four steps:

    1. Explicitly show support for the Black community in ways that align with your brand’s functional benefits to drive a deeper sense of authenticity. High scores on Message (“This ad has an important message”) is a distinguishing feature of the best ads.
    2. Align your ad theme around the Black segment’s distinctive Group Traits.
    3. Feature key Black segment Passion Points in an authentic and natural manner.
    4. Don’t overlook the value of humor to connect with Black Americans.

Contact us at the form below to learn more about how you can drive authenticity and engagement among diverse consumers with access to our Cultural Intelligence Platform.

Other Black Consumer Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

David Evans

David Evans
Chief Insights Officer

David serves as the Chief Insights Officer responsible for content, data science and innovation. He is passionate about creating the critical insights that can transform the fortunes of our members, informing how we create an unparalleled member experience with our products, and build great places to work.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of Data Insight Opportunity just for you

Differentiating and Winning Younger Multicultural Consumers with Culturally Fluent Ads

Whether you are targeting across all consumer segments, working to resonate with multicultural consumers generally, or targeting a specific race or ethnicity, our on-demand research presentation covers the bases on what works and why in ads–and provides examples from the brands that are winning in each case.

December 9, 2022
Victor Paredes – Executive Director of Cultural Strategy

CultureRate:Ad provides a one-stop solution for our members’ mounting need for a comprehensive, ongoing analysis of the cultural fluency of their ads. In combination with its sister product, CultureRate:Brand, CultureRate: Ad helps brands become more culturally fluent, a capability crucial to future growth as American consumers become more responsive to multicultural themes, representation, and stories.

Fill out the form for our on-demand webinar and downloadable research deck.

Differentiating and Winning with Cultural Fluency

At Collage Group, we measure the Cultural Fluency of ads by gauging consumer sentiment across key dimensions: Brand Fit, Relevance, Message and Enjoyment. These dimensions are weighed and combined to create the Ad Cultural Fluency Quotient (A-CFQ) score. The A-CFQ score gives members crucial insights into their brand’s resonance across multiple consumer segments, as well as where to focus strategies for improvement. The measure was designed to optimally balance cultural resonance with predictive power to drive brand favorability.

In our latest research, we call out key lessons from winning brands and ads to guide you as you plan your marketing campaigns into 2023. CultureRate:Ad data analyses convincingly reveal that culturally fluent advertising featuring a specific segment can and will resonate across broader audiences if done in an authentic, relatable way.

As you engage with young multicultural consumers through your cross-cultural advertising, our key takeaways and action steps include:

    1. Provide consumers with relief and release driving Enjoyment in a natural and organic manner to your brand essence.
    2. Lead with rich and purposeful inclusion of multicultural protagonists or celebrities to drive Relevance and Brand Fit. Backlash is very low when inclusion is intentional.
    3. Champion authentic, honest, and fluid self-expression to amplify Brand Fit and Relevance with consumers.
    4. Elevate music to a character that imprint the brand’s intent driving Relevance and Enjoyment.
    5. Highlight the cultural value of specific category needs ensuring Message importance.

Watch the on-demand webinar for more examples of executing on each action step.

Don’t get trapped by the false “trade-off” that implies investment in culturally targeted ads for specific segments comes at the expense of general market impact. Winning brand leaders now understand that culturally targeted ads can leverage powerful halo effects that can reach the general market without compromising segment-specific nuance. Use CultureRate to take control of your message and learn how to tell culturally authentic stories that work with all segments.

Contact us to learn more about how you can drive authenticity and engagement among diverse consumers with access to our Cultural Intelligence Platform.

Other Multicultural Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

Victor Paredes

Victor Paredes
Executive Director of Cultural Strategy

Victor Paredes, Executive Director of Cultural Strategy, is a successful marketing and advertising executive leader with proven experience in building practices that drive brand equity, sales, traffic, and qualified leads. His marketing experience spans sectors such as entertainment, hospitality, healthcare, consumer packaged goods, and direct to consumer services. Throughout his career, Victor has led multidisciplinary teams of strategy, digital, media, promotions and public relations experts in building effective integrated marketing platforms. Today, Victor brings keen cultural competence to creative storytelling and leadership in a multicultural America.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of Data Insight Opportunity just for you

How Culture Impacts American Holiday Celebrations

With the holidays officially underway, we took a look at how American consumers prepare for and celebrate the winter holiday season. 

December 7, 2022
Jack Mackinnon – Director, Product and Content

Relying on findings from its multicultural Holidays & Occasions research, we examined how culture impacts several end-of-the-year holidays, including Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.

Collage Group viewed each occasion across racial and ethnic demographics, signifying how brands can utilize these findings to better connect with diverse consumers through marketing.

Read on and fill out the form for an excerpt from our
Multicultural Holidays & Occasions presentation.

Multicultural Holidays and Occasions presentation cover


Most Americans celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, as 93% said they recognize the occasion. And it’s no surprise that food is the main attraction, as 50% say making meals from scratch is what they enjoy most. The number two favorite part of Turkey Day is in watching football, according to 38%. Number three? Viewing movies or TV specials – 35% said television is a large part of their Thanksgiving routine.

Cooking food for Thanksgiving interest graph

In examining Thanksgiving through the lens of race and ethnicity, we see that watching Thanksgiving Day football is the second most enjoyed pastime for Black (43%), White (43%) and Asian (29%) consumers. Hispanic Americans, however, said decorating their home is the second most enjoyed part of Thanksgiving.

Not to be outdone, the “Friendsgiving” holiday get-together is prevalent for many consumers, with 30% of Americans of all racial makeups saying they celebrate the gathering.

It is worth noting that most multicultural consumers add non-traditional foods to their meals, including 70% of Hispanic consumers and Asian consumers. 

Supermarket chain Publix is a brand that has been effective with its Thanksgiving advertising. During 2021, Publix released a creative campaign celebrating various ways to partake in and enjoy the holiday.

They were able to seamlessly include different people from a variety of different cultural backgrounds. The commercial also did a great job highlighting the unique ways families and friends experience Thanksgiving Day.

Collage Group’s CultureRate:Ad methodology shows consumers respond positively to spots that target specific demographics in ways that appeal to the broader population. Ads leveraging these “halo effects” offer a highly efficient approach for increasing returns on advertising investments, now an important marketing component in an uncertain economy. 

When discussing Thanksgiving campaigns, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are two very popular occasions for consumer brands. Collage Group’s research indicates that these occasions are particularly popular for Black and Asian Americans as a kick-off to holiday shopping. Hispanic Americans, however, tend to skip the hoopla, saying they shop throughout December.


Like Thanksgiving, the majority of Americans celebrate Christmas, with 93% saying they like to partake in the festivities.

Americans who celebrate Christmas graph

When asked whether their Christmas celebrations go beyond typical “American” traditions, Hispanic and Asian consumers were more likely to say “yes.” Moreover, Noche Buena (Christmas Eve), Three Kings Day, and Las Posadas are all widely celebrated Christmas-time holidays for bicultural and unacculturated Hispanic shoppers.

Collage Group’s research found that while Asian Americans enthusiastically take part in Christmas celebrations, unfortunately they are regularly an underrepresented segment in terms of holiday media content.

But excluding Asian Americans, underrepresenting them, or just failing to target them in Christmas advertisements is a major oversight. Asian consumers partake in the holiday like everyone else, with their own customs and traditions, so brands should absolutely work to make a connection.


While Kwanzaa – a celebration of African heritage and culture – may not be as mainstream as the other end-of-year holidays, it is presently observed by about one in every five Black Americans.

Thirty percent of polled Black consumers, and 17% of Hispanic consumers, said that all brands should recognize the holiday through its marketing or advertising.

How to Authentically Connect During Winter Holidays

Brands should focus on authenticity, especially when activating on a holiday that is celebrated by a specific racial or ethnic segment, such as Kwanzaa. Depending on the brand, this can include a simple celebratory posting on a social media page, helping to educate the broader community about the holiday, or partnering with in-segment content creators to tell their personal stories related to the holiday.

Another tip is for brands to highlight what is non-traditional about traditional American holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas are celebrated across racial and ethnic segments, but many multicultural Americans have other traditions based on their heritage and upbringing. Showing the range of how Americans commemorate will attract many consumers, particularly those who are multicultural, and those who have different ways of celebrating.

Other Holidays & Occasions Research Articles and Insights from Collage Group

Jack McKinnon

Jack Mackinnon
Director, Product and Content

Jack Mackinnon is a new addition to the Collage Group syndicated research team. He brings consumer insight expertise across Multicultural, Generations, and LGBTQ+ segments.

Get In Touch.

There's a world of Data Insight Opportunity just for you