Why Pepsi prefers "cultural fluency" to multicultural marketing

Stephen Whiteside

Multicultural marketing is broken beyond repair, and brands failing to recognise this fact could miss out on an opportunity worth billions of dollars.

"Traditional multicultural marketing … is not sustainable in the long term," Carlos Saavedra, director of culture marketing at PepsiCo Beverages America, argued. "Internally, it's not sustainable because of media fragmentation and limited ad production budgets. But, more importantly, it's not sustainable because that's not how our consumers view themselves in the world."

Speaking at the ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference, Saavedra elaborated on this theme by making a case for "cultural fluency" – which involves thinking about Hispanic, African-American and Asian-American customers from a completely fresh perspective.