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Why Virtual Product Placement is Essential for Multicultural Strategy

virtual product placement for multicultural strategy

As America shifts to a Majority-Minority Nation, advertisers must diversify their marketing strategies as the U.S. multicultural population becomes increasingly mainstream.
In the last decade alone, the US Black, Hispanic and Asian population jumped dramatically from 9 million to 33.8 million.
America’s changing demographics make one thing clear: Each successive generation is more diverse than the previous. From 2016 to 2060, the Census Bureau projects the white, non-Hispanic population to fall from more than 60% of the American population to around 44%. The amount of people who identify as Asian or Hispanic will double in that time frame, and the total people who identify as at least two races is projected to triple. 
To win that next generation, marketers must embrace multicultural and inclusive strategies or they’ll get left behind.


In the last few years alone, social justice movements fighting for racial reparation and consciousness spilled over into the advertising industry, highlighting decades of systematic racism and media bias. Consumers didn't hold back on holding their favorite brands accountable, prompting top advertisers and agencies to pledge their commitment to increase spending toward diverse-owned and diverse-targeted media.
Today, multicultural marketing is a strategic necessity for global brands, helping them to connect with an increasingly diverse consumer base and underline their commitment to inclusivity and cultural awareness. But why are many marketers still struggling?
The problem is, it’s not always easy to find and invest in diverse-owned, operated, or targeted media. Inventory challenges in diverse media are threatening to slow this movement, if advertisers can’t effectively source the content they’re seeking.


In many ways, the US is at the forefront of this progressive marketing approach. Brands are investing heavily in research and development to better understand multicultural audiences, better engage with a diverse range of consumers and tap into the growing purchasing power of minority groups.
Despite this, there’s still a long way to go. A 2019 report showed that while multicultural consumers account for almost 40% of the US market, multicultural media investments represent just 5.2% of total advertising spend. As a result, this demographic’s spending power of $3.2 trillion continues to go largely untapped.
We’ve identified a few key reasons for this. Firstly, traditional media buying methods lack the granular targeting capabilities, real-time performance analysis, and cross-channel alignment needed to create effective multicultural campaigns. As media channels become increasingly fragmented, the growing range of digital advertising opportunities challenges traditional media buying processes, leading to disjointed campaigns and missed opportunities.
Secondly, there is still a lack of transparency around minority-owned media publishers and partners, which makes it difficult for advertisers to identify suitable media content. Minority-owned media companies tend to be smaller and have fewer resources than their market competition, making it difficult for them to establish a strong presence in the industry.
And finally, the limited number of minority-owned media channels and content creates a bottleneck. While 46% of RFPs we respond to have multicultural budgets earmarked, only 30% of US content partners are currently minority-owned or operated, suggesting a supply and demand imbalance that could impact brands’ ambitions for multicultural marketing.


Multicultural marketing is not only a moral obligation but an essential business strategy for any brand operating in today’s increasingly interconnected and globalized landscape.
In fact, not investing in diverse media could be actively detrimental to a brand. A recent study found that younger consumers are holding advertisers accountable, with 73% of Gen Z and Millennials viewing brands more favorably if they take a stand on social injustice.
So how can brands do better? We recommend meeting your audience at the intersection of passion points; from sports to music, to culturally rich storylines. While advertising on multicultural channels is a great place to start, go deeper by integrating within the multicultural content consumers are most passionate about.
Virtual Product Placement (VPP) can help supercharge traditional media investments by scaling your brand across your target consumers' favorite content across linear and cable TV, VOD, music, and influencer. Seamlessly weave product or campaign messaging into the narrative in a culturally rich way.


Mirriad’s Multicultural In-Content Marketplace unlocks thousands of hours of in-content scene inventory across dozens of diverse suppliers.

Powered by AI, Mirriad’s VPP technology creates incremental advertising opportunities for brands to scale their multicultural campaigns and also represents a new revenue stream for diverse media suppliers who are serving these growing audiences. Most importantly, brands are able to transact directly with each diverse media owner so it counts towards their DE&I media pledges.