and – Understand how to avoid cultural appropriation and how to counter-stereotype
First, let’s recap context with Trailhead.
Trailhead teaches us that context can be broken down into two key categories: historical/cultural and hierarchal.
As a reminder, context refers to “past circumstances that inform the setting of an event (or in this case of marketing, a piece of content)”.
Brands may suffer a misstep when they feature situations that allude to recent or historical events in their marketing campaigns.
If a brand insists on using or referring to a recent event, they should highly consider its relevance, authenticity, and appropriateness, and ask themselves the question: “does this brand message honor the legacy of the person or moment in time that is being referenced?”
The order and hierarchy of the subjects in your marketing campaigns and ads should also be a top consideration.
Trailhead elaborates on this importance within the unit, which I encourage you to read the details of yourself.
Brands should also avoid appropriation, more so cultural appropriation.
This refers to the act of taking or using an aspect from a minority culture without knowing or honoring the meaning behind it.
A common misstep from brands is having an actor of one race play a different race in an ad instead of hiring an actor who is of that race themselves.
Trailhead elaborates upon this concept and provides guidelines for inclusive marketing by focusing on these key points:
Minority vs. Dominant Culture
Profit vs. Disenfranchisement
Authentic vs. Inauthentic
Honoring vs. Exploiting or Making Fun
Informed vs. Misinformed
To avoid appropriation and practice multi-cultural respect and awareness, Trailhead advises brands to be “mindful of nuance and historical context, honor and learn the culture, seek guidance and diverse opinions, evaluate intent and impact, and elevate authentic voices”.
To conclude this unit, Trailhead covers Counter-Stereotype.
Counter-Stereotype is defined as “going against a standardized image that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment”.
Trailhead encourages that this aspect of inclusive marketing is where marketers have a special power to influence society, reinforcing that “representation matters”.
It helps to inspire a diverse set of future leaders, among other key and far-reaching benefits.
Trailhead covers these three principles of inclusive marketing in more detail, using relevant cases, in this unit. So, if you’re interested in the topic, I encourage you to seek it out yourself and learn more …
I look forward to hearing your thoughts about this educational path and continuing this journey with you next week when we cover the remaining three principles of inclusive marketing in a new unit recap.