I got your attention, I know, but it’s true — the Russians have elevated multicultural advertising, albeit inadvertently.
Let me tell you how.
As you probably know, the Russians are accused of attempting to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. It has come to light that one of the tactics they used was advertising on social networks, including Facebook, that intended to “amplify racial and social divisions in our country”.
Ironically, the Russians have actually helped amplify the powerful diversity and inclusiveness in America and along the way elevated multicultural marketing.
I applaud Facebook’s reaction to the Russian attempt to influence our elections. It proactively announced that it will be more transparent when it comes to advertising on its platform by implementing a feature that will allow anyone to “View Ads” on a Page, as well as the ads a Page is running on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger whether or not the person viewing is in the ad’s target audience.
So how will Facebook’s new transparency feature elevate multicultural marketing? It’s actually quite simple. Previously, the rainbow of creative advertising that has been targeted to multicultural consumers on Facebook has been hidden because of Facebook’s dark post feature.
What’s a dark post?
Let’s say you want to target Spanish-preferring Hispanics on Facebook, with a dark post. Only Spanish-preferring Hispanics will see the ad, it is dark to everyone else. For advertisers looking to reach diverse audiences, and for the Russians, darks posts worked well as only the intended audience was able to see them. This is about to change with Facebook's new feature.
By allowing anyone to see any ad on Facebook, Facebook is not only bringing transparency to its advertising ecosystem, but also bringing to light all of the rich multicultural work that has previously been in the dark. As this multicultural work comes to light, it will elevate multicultural advertising in a significant way. With one click, you will be able to see all of the multicultural ads for any brand and, let me tell you, there will be a myriad of them.
By being able to see these ads with our own eyes, we will be able to grasp the sheer size and scope of multicultural marketing — in this case, seeing really is believing. Most importantly, competitors will be able to see all of each other’s ads and, as a result, immediately understand the multicultural consumer segments being targeted by each other. Ultimately, more brands will begin targeting multicultural consumers when they realize that many of their competitors have been doing this successfully, albeit in the dark.
So, to the Russians I say, “” (thank you), for bringing multicultural marketing to light.