There are few things more delightful than waking up on an average Monday morning here in Post-Racial America to the following real headline from a column in Ad Age: "Hats Off to the Soft-Drink Industry for Giving Attention to Hispanics and Blacks." Hats off to you, marketers of nutrition-free sugar water! You are trying to sell your product to minorities. You are all the real heroes.
David Morse is a professional multicultural marketer—and a white guy, not that that matters in Post-Racial America, we're just pointing that out in order to fill space, is all—and he's come to rebut the outrageous claim by some former soda executive that perhaps it was wrong for the Coca-Cola corporation to disproportionately target black and Latino communities in, it must be said, exactly the same way that cigarette companies did, in an attempt to gain lifelong addicts/ consumers. After acknowledging that all of this is true, David Morse throws down hardcore knowledge:
In the interest of transparency, let me confess my bias. I've done a lot of work over the years for one of the big soft-drink companies. Let me point out that I've seen that company do a lot to increase consumption of its diet drinks, bottled water, juice and healthy snacks. But let's face it. Hispanics and African Americans are much less interested in diet products. Sugary drinks — often the sweeter the better — do well with them. There are a lot of cultural barriers to getting both these groups to understand the importance of being lean.
"The fault is with overconsumption. Responsibility lies with parents. A contributing factor is culture," writes David Morse, professional multicultural marketer of sugar water to minorities. I wonder, though, crazy question here, I know, but, just hypothetically—I wonder if another "contributing factor" could be, perhaps, the decades-long multimillion-dollar minority-targeted marketing campaigns for these very products? The things which are actually the titular topic of this very article? Could they, perchance, be playing a role in all this? Ah, well. Don't be ungrateful, minorities.
As a multicultural marketer, I applaud the leadership of the soft-drink industry in recognizing the changing face of America. Many of their African-American and Hispanic customers do too.
Many of them!