Inaugural Multicultural Marketing Awards: Chair's Address


Tonight, multicultural awards will be handed out for the first time ever at Marketing Magazine's Annual Marketing Awards. As chair of the inaugural multicultural jury I have been asked to say a few words to the gathering, and I thought I'd share them online.

At Barrett and Welsh we like to say it's not mainstream if it's not multicultural.

The multicultural advertising industry has come a long way since I arrived in this country in 1996 - but it still has a long way to go.

Multicultural advertising is too often dismal - in design, writing and concept.
Agencies and clients make excuses - "the budgets are low".
Or they blame each other - "they don't get us."

An advertising award show is no place for that. There should be room only for excellence, not excuses.
So when Dave Brown of Marketing Magazine invited me to chair the inaugural jury, that was the direction we agreed to take.

It's not good enough to take an American ad, tweak it and release it in the Canadian market.
We don't take a dude in a Stetson with a Texas drawl and replace him with a mullet-headed guy in a plaid shirt who says "how aboot those Canucks, eh?"
Adaptations are not good enough for the mainstream and they're not good enough for multicultural.

In fact, "good enough" isn't.

Multicultural category entries could not win if they were "Insert Visible Minority Here" ads.
They could not win just because they used some dumb joke about curry or dim sum. Or an exotic foreign script.

The winners had to be excellent. Excellent work is always original, always insightful, always well crafted, always based on a genuine idea.
The judging was tough but fair. And this year's winners, I am proud to say will set the bar for the category in the future.

My congratulations to them. They proved that small budgets are not the enemies of big ideas.
And that whether your ads run in Punjabi, Mandarin or Tagalog, they can and should come from a common culture - the culture of the Big Idea.

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1 comment :

MyGrahak said...

Multicultural? Hmmm. The concept of the blog as well as content of the blog is as much multi-faceted as any multicultural atmosphere. Really, when cultures collide, there is a burst of colors and emotions. And to capture those in photography, in one frame is more than just clicking. The photographs here are just mind blowing. They are colorful, amazingly shot and highly captures the mind. Sometimes creativity is the best way to get closer to GOD. And as they say creative people are the most closest to GOD. I can now understand, why.

Divya Bhaskar

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