The Implications of Hybri-culturalism

By Enrique Turégano, alPunto Advertising – Tustin, CA

My last publication dealt with the heavily tackled about “total market approach” to advertising.

That total market approach is derived from today’s move in our society into becoming Hybri-cultural.

A little background – the US population or society started of as “Mono-cultural”; the famous “melting pot” where all immigrants melted together and became Americans, leaving behind their costume and values (total assimilation).

Years later and for the last 30 years until today, we have been talking about a “Multi-cultural Society;” the famous “mosaic society” where ethnicities kept their cultural traditions, values, languages and co-existed with each other – Anglos, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, etc.

This society was more segmented and thrived on the individuality and uniqueness of each segment. We saw the growth of dedicated advertising agencies during those years specializing in their particular segment, and in some instances specializing in “minorities” or all key non-Anglo ethnic segments.

Today’s rarity is one of Hybri-culturalism; this shift in consumer behavior is creating a society that “borrows” values and traditions from the different components of the greater society (America or US) and creates a more open-minded, mixed and culturally well-rounded individual.

Some of the implications already seen in the last Census include the growth of mixed race couples, the grown of mixed race individuals, Spanglish as a way for Latino Millennials to communicate, growth in same sex marriages, etc.

Latinos in the US, because of our multi-country of origin foundation, plus the mix of native and European cultures very much alive in Latin America, are pre-disposed to Hybri-culturalism.

Some of the key implications of this move into becoming a Hybrid-cultural Society include having to redefine your target consumer, taking into account those borrowed costume and values when finding key insights and knowing how to include them into your communication strategy, and addressing social media as the main source of Hybri-cultural exchanges. One of the biggest implications falls on general market agencies, as the consumer is the one that will go through the biggest and more drastic changes in behavior; most trends (technological, fashion, music, sports) continue to be sourced by ethnic consumers (Asians, African Americans and Latinos primarily) and the general market or Anglo consumer is more open than ever into adopting or borrowing those cultural trademarks.

So to all the marketers, this new Society will call for redefining of the target consumer and of the hot buttons impacting their behavior.