Giant, Google, PNC Best Ads For Black Consumers

An ad for Google Pixel

Diverse representation in ads is an essential ingredient in connecting with Black viewers, according to new research from the Collage Group. But so is cultural fluency. Led by Giant, Google and PNC, the list of  companies finding exceptional ways to connect with Black audiences also include St. Jude’s, United Healthcare, Dove, Oreo, Walgreens, Walmart and the NFL.

The research also determines ads that resonate with Black audiences earn a halo effect, enabling them to connect with broader demographic groups -- especially Gen Z.

“When we talk about culture, we’re looking at how people reconnect with themselves and one another in ways that are true to their identity and true to how they've been brought up,” says Sudipti Kumar, director of multicultural insights at Collage Group. “Culture is how people interact with society at large.”



Ads that score highest achieve that relevance through three broad frameworks: They convey determination, realism and optimistic beliefs.

Kumar tells Marketing Daily that ads for PNC score highly because they deliver an empowering message. “The company does so many things right, first by featuring Black small-business owners. But the ads highlight the company’s connection to HBCUs, which matters to the Black community.”

Finally, PNS speaks specifically to Gen Z "with this spirited, joyful ambition. Younger Black people believe in better things ahead.”

The bank’s ads scored 45 points higher with Black consumers than non-Black audiences.

Ads for Giant, the regional supermarket, also capture joy. One campaign zeroed in on family barbecues, a significant food moment for any family. “But for Black families, there’s a much deeper historical significance about those events, right down to the importance of the uncle or dad on the grill,” she says.

But these aren’t stereotypical moments. “These are people who are just authentically excited to be with each other. And everyone can relate to family coming together for a meal in the summertime,” she says.

Its tagline, “Find your local,” also resonated, with 50% of Black consumers saying involvement in their communities is important.

The Giant ad performed 8 points higher with Black consumers.

Google’s ad wins with exceptional representation, Kumar says. The spot also scores with humor. “We’ve all wanted to arrange someone else in the our photos,” she says. Google’s connection to basketball as a key passion point also helps. “And working with Giannis Antetokounmpo is also thoughtful since he has spoken out about issues around Black Americans.”

With a Missy Elliott soundtrack and an appearance by Doja Cat, the spots also mine deep musical connections.

And Google, too, taps into HBCU pride, with creative featuring marching bands. “Again, these are deep cultural references,” she says. “An average viewer might think, 'OK, whatever, a marching band appears for a second.’ But for someone who understands the history of those bands, it’s a much deeper connection.”

Google’s advertising scored 23 points higher with Black audiences versus non-Black.

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