Revealed: Top Ads Resonating Among Younger Black Consumers

Cultural Intelligence company, Collage Group, explains why ads for Band-Aid, Dove and Walmart earned top ranks

Washington, D.C., Dec. 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

A recent study examining more than 80 commercials determined which advertisements resonated the best among younger Black consumers aged 18-42.

The analysis, conducted by cultural intelligence leader, Collage Group, assesses ad performance using the Ad Cultural Fluency Quotient (A-CFQ) which measures consumer sentiment across four key dimensions. These include Brand Fit (the ad fits the brand), Relevance (the ad is for people like me), Message (the ad has an important message) and Enjoyment (the ad is enjoyable to watch).

The study was focused on adult Gen Z and millennials of all racial backgrounds. Collage Group refers to these as “New Wave” consumers. They have become a powerful buying force in their own right, and they also reveal preferences predictive of future marketing performance.

The findings show that New Wave Black consumers gravitated the most to 10 ads from these brands: Band-Aid, Dove, Walmart (twice), Air Wick, Target, Silk, Snickers, Little Caesars, and Folgers.

“Younger Black Americans who make up the Gen Z and millennial demographic were moved by these 10 spots,” says Zekeera Belton, Vice President of Client Services and Diverse Segment Strategist for Collage Group. “While these consumers were drawn to each advertisement for different reasons, collectively every one of these commercials connected with Black consumers through an engaging, authentic message.”

Earning a high score on “Message” is a distinguishing aspect of all the ads deemed to be considered one of the top 10.

Most of the leading commercials prominently feature Black actors and actresses, highlighting the importance of representation in advertising for brands seeking to connect with the Black demographic.

“When Black consumers see authentically drawn Black characters in a commercial, they’re prone to take notice and pay closer attention,” says Belton. “Brands in turn have to take heed of that insight and use it to reach these Black consumers.”

For Black New Wavers, 49% say that it is important that advertisements portray people of their race or ethnicity, compared to 34% of non-Black New Wavers.

Brands are listening, and armed with this knowledge, companies are improving how they represent multicultural people in their commercials. Black Americans typically support companies who they view as loyal or as allies. In fact, 80% of Black Americans are more likely to go out of their way to purchase items from brands and companies that publicly support Black people and Black causes.

“Out of all of these ads, five of the top 10 speak directly to backing and being supportive of the Black demographic,” Xue Bai, Director of Brand and Ad Performance Measurement for Collage Group. “Marketers understand that young Black buyers expect brand support and in return, these buyers will respond by shopping in that store or by buying that brand’s products.”

A commercial from Dove – the number two ranked ad for Black consumers in the study – features endearing messaging about a young Black girl encountering hair discrimination. After being confronted with race-based hair discrimination throughout her childhood, she asserts that she will fight against the bias as an adult.

The advertisement proved quite popular among young Black consumers, as 75% of Black New Wavers say they would react to the spot on social media. A large majority of Black New Wavers, 71%, said they would discuss the commercial with others, while 39% think the best elements of the ad are the people and the characters.

The Dove ad is successful at connecting with the strong desire among Black New Wavers to “live their lives authentically,” which includes how they present themselves. It also scores high among this cohort because of its focus on being real, and true to oneself, which drives Relevance and Message.

Additionally, it is imperative that brands are aware of the possible negative ramifications of failing to market toward certain segments.

“A portion of Americans say they will stop using or buying from a brand whose advertising lacks racial and ethnic diversity,” says David Evans, Chief Insights Officer for Collage Group. “So, with Black Americans for example, this would mean by not targeting them, you’re potentially losing 13 million Black customers.”

The takeaway for brands, according to Evans, is to recognize that Black consumers do indeed reward those brands and companies that speak authentically to various Black group traits and cultural passions.

For brands looking to better engage with young Black consumers, Evans recommends they take four steps:

  1. Explicitly show support for the Black community in ways that align with your brand’s functional benefits to drive a deeper sense of authenticity. High scores on Message (“This ad has an important message”) is a distinguishing feature of the best ads.
  2. Align your ad theme around the Black segment’s distinctive Group Traits.
  3. Feature key Black segment Passion Points in an authentic and natural manner.
  4. Don’t overlook the value of humor to connect with Black Americans.


About Collage Group

Collage Group is the leading source of cultural intelligence about diverse consumers to more than 250 of America’s iconic brands across 15 industries. Through our consumer insights, data, tools and best practices we work with marketing and insights professionals to help them more effectively and efficiently understand, reach and engage diverse consumers in the midst of America’s seismic cultural transformation. For more than 10 years, we have provided brands with the tools needed to build the Cultural Fluency necessary to activate consumers across race, ethnicity, generation, sexuality, gender and parent-child relationships. Learn more about why America’s iconic brands turn to Collage Group for diverse consumer insights and best practices.

About CultureRate

With CultureRate:Ad and Brand, Collage Group provides competitive rankings of all top brands and ads in every major category. The CultureRate database is the largest of its kind available, growing annually by over 200,000 responses or 30 million unique datapoints. Through a deep oversample of diverse Americans, brand leaders can access rich insight into how consumers process brands and ads across race and ethnicity, generation, sexual orientation, and gender. ​Brand leaders apply the findings from CultureRate:Ad and CultureRate:Brand to build Cultural Fluency, the capability to drive total market growth from inclusive, diverse-led marketing.


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