“In order to maximize opportunities with both multicultural and general marketing audiences, it’s important that we have a modern approach to multicultural advertising by focusing on the total market,” said David DeMuth, co-CEO and president of Doner (part of MDC Partners), explaining why the agency is launching Cultura United Agency, a cross-disciplinary marketing shop specializing in reaching Hispanic, African-American and Asian consumers.
“By bringing the highest caliber of strategic thinking and creative execution to the multicultural space, Cultura United Agency provides new occasions for brands to engage with consumers.”
Based in Los Angeles, Cultura United Agency is headed by Anita Alban Gastelum, who will be responsible for managing strategy and operations. The agency launches with 12 staffers, including creative and account services people, with additional workers to be hired in the future.
Although Cultura United will operate as a standalone shop, it will draw upon Doner's resources, including its production, digital and analytics expertise.
The agency has already won business from clients, including JCPenney and JAFRA Cosmetics International.
MDC Partners has several reasons for launching this new shop. For one, clients are seeking a full-service multicultural offering. "Today's multi-cultural audience is the mainstream," says DeMuth. "In order to grow our agency, we have to work smarter and more in tune with the population."
Also, Doner was seeking to grow its Los Angeles presence, and this shop will strengthen its footprint. Executives believe there is a void in this space.
"Most multi-ultural agencies sell on the basis of 'hey everything is different,'" says DeMuth. "Our philosophy is different in that we are seeking commonality." The agency's name reflects this understanding. "Cultura means culture in Spanish, and united means we are together rather than apart," says DeMuth.
Gastelum comes to the agency with more than two decades of experience in agency management and U.S. Hispanic advertising and marketing communications leadership. Previously, she was a member of the executive leadership team at IPG’s multicultural agency Axis for 10 years. Prior, she was vice president/regional director for Fleishman Hillard’s Hispanic group, FH Hispania. Earlier, she served at two boutique Hispanic advertising agencies – Cruz/Kravetz:IDEAS and Enlace Communications, the Hispanic unit of TBWA.
“Cultura United Agency is designed to help brands create relevance and achieve authenticity in the real world with an inclusive and interconnected approach that closely aligns brands with culture,” said Gastelum. “We aim to transform the perception of multicultural marketing by working side-by-side with brands and agencies and by using our collective resources to efficiently and creatively bring marketing programs to multicultural and general audiences.”