Last week, R&R was lucky enough to attend and sponsor the IC Summit in Mexico City. The summit featured over 250 international marketing professionals who discussed several topics currently affecting the Latin American marketing and advertising industry.
Questions discussed included, “How do CMOs protect their brands globally?” and “What challenges do they have growing their industry in the Mexican market?” On the first day, CMV’s very own Ruben Olmos sat on the panel and helped answer this vital question. He discussed R&R and CMV’s expertise in brand marketing and the role that GPA plays in optimizing a brand’s performance in international markets. On the second day, CMV’s Diego Velasquez spoke on the panel and discussed the importance of a strong client/agency relationship and the benefits of this type of a relationship.
Aside from having two speaking roles during the summit, R&R also sponsored two coffee breaks, where we were able to connect with conference attendees about their needs and what ways we can help grow their business. The booth also showcased our Hispanic creative work, R&R’s vast capabilities, and who we are as an agency. Additionally, it featured virtual reality headsets with some of our featured VR work, along with a photo booth for those who wanted to have a little fun!
This summit was a great opportunity for R&R to position ourselves as the cross-border agency with an expertise in Hispanic marketing that we have become. Companies present at the IC Summit included Bimbo, Aeroméxico, Interjet, LaLa, Telcel, Club Santos, OXXO, Kellogg’s Latin America, and many more.
Finally, check out our magician who was able to tell the R&R and CMV story in a very unique way here:
For more than 100 years, people around the world have been striking, protesting and marching in support of women’s rights every March 8, on what is now recognized by the United Nations as International Women’s Day. And on this day, I’m reminded of the heartbreaking story of Madonna Badger, and how she chooses to “fight with hope and love.”
I first learned of Madonna when she spoke at The 3% Conference last year. When she took the stage, I expected her to impart wisdom gained from her life as a creative director and the founding of her agency, Badger & Winters. Instead, she opened her heart and shared her story of unfathomable tragedy. In the early hours of Christmas Day 2011, Madonna’s parents and her three little girls − Lily, Sarah and Grace − died in a house fire. Madonna was also in the home at the time; she wasn’t able to save her family.
After enduring a year of devastating depression, grief and survivor’s guilt, she emerged with a new purpose. She would use her considerable talents and voice to make the world better for women and girls. She would do this in honor of her daughters, and in the hope of making the impact she knew her girls would have made had they lived to fulfill their potential. The #WomenNotObjects campaign was born.
The mission of #WomenNotObjects is to end the objectification of women in advertising and support brands that empower women. Hundreds of years of systematic privilege, fear and prejudice have shaped society to hamper the rights, dignities and personal freedoms of women, minorities and anyone thought to be “other.” Today, objectifying and stereotyping in marketing are a couple of the more subtle ways in which these discriminatory ideas are perpetuated. These harmful messages, often cloaked as “art” or locker room humor, threaten to undermine the gains we’ve made toward true equality and, in doing so, weaken our society.
I’m very proud that we don’t do the kind of work that objectifies or stereotypes. We use our voices and talents to influence and move legislation, to inspire movements, and to create positive experiences. We know the impact our work and service can have on individuals, communities and culture. And so, let us support and spread the mission of #WomenNotObjects and continue to use our talents to fight with hope and love.
As an openly gay millennial, I’ve often struggled with fully embracing LGBT advertising messages that reduce a beautifully diverse queer community to two-dimensional stereotypes of fashionable, hard-bodied, blonde models. It’s a confession I’ve never been proud enough to voice until now, at a time of unprecedented strides in LGBT equality, and an equally strong movement within media and marketing to build support, advocacy and community.
In the era of declining print advertising and increasing digital banner blindness, it seems the most impactful way to reach the LGBT community is through 1:1 on site community building.
The shift in successful LGBT marketing is no longer just speaking at the community—but to actually become a part of it.
As a born and raised Texan, growing up gay was hardly something to celebrate. Even with a vibrant nightlife and active community, I always felt I was on the periphery of the mainstream. A member of an auxiliary group that brands tried to engage with using hunky shirtless models, homoerotic undertones and the occasional Pride flag.
As well-intentioned as these efforts were, they felt half-hearted and inauthentic. Growing up with these messages made me feel even more secluded from the rest of the world. Was I fit enough? Did I dress well enough? Was I proud enough? Was I really a member of the community I identified with?
On June 26, 2016, exactly one year after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling, I attended my first Pride Parade in New York City with my partner of four years, for my 27th birthday. It was the most exciting experience of my life because it was the first time I really understood what it meant to be a proud gay man.
I remember looking left to right on the crowded street in New York’s West Village neighborhood and my eyes filling with tears. Booth after tent after sign of countless Fortune 100 corporations, were affirming me. Accepting me. Embracing me. These brands weren’t trying to sell me their products; they were there as advocates and members of my community.
That unforgettable experience shaped how I saw my community and my perception of these brands. As a marketing professional, I took home plenty of notes on what it means to connect and build advocacy with the LGBT community and the values that successful brands shared.
Trends within the millennial generation suggest that the best gay outreach messaging is equality messaging, not “gay-specific” messaging. Forty-seven percent of millennials are more likely to support a brand after seeing an equality-themed ad.
My Pride experience didn’t make me feel like an auxiliary afterthought or an outlier. My partner, friends and advertisers all came together to not only include me, but to celebrate me.
Impactful LGBT messaging is true cultural immersion, and brands across the country have stood up to celebrate my community.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority embraced 1:1 community building while at Los Angeles Pride this year with “Virtually Fabulous.” The on-site activation brought Las Vegas to LA Pride (and attendees to Vegas) with an incredible virtual reality experience featuring interactive videos that users could choose from a number of Vegas attractions, ranging from zip lining through the Rio to bottle service at Marquee.
Another value that ran through the brands whose message moved me during Pride, was unapologetic authenticity. Honey Maid did this beautifully in its “This Is Wholesome” TV spot, where it took all the negative and disapproving messages and literally created a message of love.
The strongest theme that tied all these LGBT advertisers together was a message of togetherness. At NY Pride, I felt like a part of an experience that united all sexual and gender identities. This sentiment is illustrated perfectly by a San Francisco Burger King with “The Proud Whopper” that proclaims “We Are All the Same Inside.”
As a gay millennial, equality, authenticity, inclusion and community are all values that deeply resonate with me. Marketers meaning to connect with the LGBT community will be the most successful by joining our community and joining in our celebration.
All of us are at least somewhat familiar with this country’s history when it comes to racism; however, not everyone has experienced it. If you have spent most of your life shielded from overt racism, discrimination or bigotry, you can’t possibly relate to those who have.
This fact has become abundantly clear in the various reactions to the most recent videos of Black men killed by police in Baton Rouge, La., and St. Paul, Minn. There seems a gap in understanding the lived experiences of marginalized groups by those in the majority culture.
As a Black woman, I could cite a dozen personal experiences to illustrate my point here, but I’ll only use one. I attended majority white schools growing up in Anchorage, Alaska. The Black student population represented less than 3 percent of the total student body of my high school. While Black students had been experiencing and speaking out against incidents of racism and bigotry in the school for years, the school administration and the PTA only took notice when a small group of “skinheads” enrolled in the high school. After several violent fights perpetuated by these students, including an attempted attack on a Black teacher, the school leadership scheduled a town hall meeting.
It was during this town hall that I realized that those who either refused to acknowledge there was a problem because it didn’t affect them directly or were simply oblivious to it, were just as much a part of the problem. It took acts of violence perpetuated by this small group of new students to bring attention to the issue of racism in the school for others to even acknowledge what we had been experiencing for years.
When the Black Lives Matter movement started gaining traction, I heard it dismissed as everything from reverse racism, to unnecessary. Then there was the counter #AllLivesMatter hashtag that insinuated that Black Lives Matter supporters only value lives of Black people. Rather than trying to understand the catalyst for the movement, many people trivialized the message because they couldn’t relate or didn’t care to listen. A recent article in The Washington Post entitled “Fatal Shootings by US Police Officers in 2015: A Bird’s Eye View” confirmed what the Black community and the Black Lives Matter movement already knew: unarmed Black men were shot and killed last year at disproportionately high rates, and that officers involved may be biased in how they perceive threats. Mind you, this is just in 2015. How many incidents went unreported for decades? How many incidents occurred before the advancement of technology and the advent of social media? To add insult to injury, the officers involved received what amounted to a slap on the wrist leading those of us in the Black community to believe that the lives of Black Americans are somehow less valued.
One might wonder how this relates to an ad agency? A specific example is the travel warnings that other countries are issuing based on what is seen as civil unrest. The Bahamas, a predominiately black country, issued a travel warning aimed at their young, Black, male citizens urging caution. The bigger picture is that as an industry, we have a voice, we influence behaviors, and we represent clients who we can encourage to value diversity. Wieden+Kennedy, the global ad agency responsible for Nike’s iconic “Just Do It” campaign, recently took a bold step to acknowledge the experience of those in the Black community and used its home page to send a message.
To this end, while I don’t pretend to have all of the answers to how we move forward to a place where everyone’s experiences are valued, I do know diversity plays a role. At its most basic level, this is exactly why diversity is important. I realize that diversity has a much broader meaning than simply checking a box for race, gender, sexual orientation or religion; however, having people from these various groups at the table better ensures you will hear their differing perspectives and experiences.
This principle can be applied to any industry, situation or discussion. Hiring more law enforcement officers who come from the communities they are helping to police is a start. Including diverse perspectives in and around the policy discussions currently taking place is a start. Supporting causes, like Black Lives Matter that may not directly affect you but strive for equity, is a start. Sharing our experiences through conversations, blogs, social media and so on is a start. I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge last week’s events in Dallas where five police officers were killed and several others wounded. When we’re all paying attention and engaging, we are more likely to achieve positive change. And perhaps there has never been a time when more positive change is needed than now.