The Power of Representation and Authenticity in Multicultural Marketing

25th September 2023

As a multicultural marketing agency, we’ve always championed the idea that using real people to represent the audience you’re trying to reach is the best and most authentic approach.

In this blog post, we will explore why authenticity matters and how it can effectively bridge the gap between representation and reaching diverse audiences.

Why Representation Matters

Representation in marketing ensures that people from all backgrounds, ethnicities, and walks of life see themselves reflected in the campaigns and advertisements they encounter. 

It goes beyond just showcasing diversity; it’s about acknowledging the lived experiences of various cultural groups.

Here’s why representation matters:

1. Visibility and Inclusivity: When people see others who look like them in advertisements, it sends a powerful message of inclusivity. It validates their existence and makes your brand see and hear them.

2. Relatability: Representation allows brands to connect with their audience personally. Consumers are more likely to engage with content that resonates with their experiences and identities.

3. Building Trust: Authentic representation builds trust. When consumers feel that a brand genuinely understands and respects their culture and values, they are more likely to trust that brand.

4. Market Growth: Diverse representation is essential for tapping into growing markets. As demographics change, brands that embrace diversity will be better positioned for long-term success.

Currently, the spending power of ethnic minorities in the UK sits at over £300bn spending power in the UK and Gartner Marketing Insights has revealed that millennials and Gen Z have a growing expectation for brands to commit to diversity and inclusion. So, if your brand is perceived as falling behind, you’re risking long-term growth opportunities.

The Role of Authenticity

While representation is crucial, being authentic in your approach is equally essential. Authenticity means genuinely understanding and respecting the cultures and backgrounds you are trying to reach.

Here’s how authenticity comes into play:

1. Cultural Sensitivity: Authenticity begins with cultural sensitivity. It’s about taking the time to understand different communities’ nuances, traditions, and values.

2. Avoiding Stereotypes: Authenticity means steering clear of harmful stereotypes. It’s about portraying people as they are rather than relying on clichés or caricatures.

3. Listening and Learning: Authenticity involves ongoing learning and engagement. Brands should be open to feedback and willing to adapt their strategies based on the insights they gain from their target audience.

4. Walking the Talk: To be authentic, a brand’s commitment to diversity and inclusion should extend beyond marketing campaigns. It should be reflected in the organisation’s hiring practices, leadership, and corporate culture.

The Power of Real People

One of the most effective ways to achieve representation and authenticity is by using real people from the target communities in your marketing efforts. Here’s why it works:

1. Relatability: Real people are relatable. Their stories and experiences resonate with others who share their background.

2. Trust and Credibility: Real people bring authenticity to your campaigns. Their presence communicates that your brand values and respects diversity.

3. Cultural Insights: Real people can provide valuable cultural insights that help tailor marketing messages effectively.

Real-life example:

One of our projects that fully encompasses creating authentic relationships between a brand and consumer is our work with Action For Children.

We delivered a campaign aimed at the South Asian communities in the Bristol area to raise awareness of the need for foster carers.

So, we chose the areas with the highest proportion of South Asians living, working, or visiting each location and distributed double-sided leaflets and posters to inform the public about the programme.

We merchandised over thirty shops and visited seven mosques to engage this target audience through a trusted source to give the campaign more credibility.

We also promoted awareness about this campaign online, using Facebook as our primary social media channel, where we posted in various groups of our target demographic and in multiple languages so that diverse populations could easily understand it in their native language.

Learn more about the work we did for Action for Children by clicking here.


In today’s diverse and interconnected world, representation and authenticity are not just buzzwords but keys to successful multicultural marketing.

GottaBe! Ethnic understands that the power of real people in advertising goes beyond aesthetics. It’s about recognising the beauty of diversity, respecting the experiences of various cultural groups, and authentically connecting with your audience.

By embracing these principles, brands can represent and reach diverse consumers’ hearts and minds, ultimately achieving marketing success in the multicultural landscape.

If you’re looking for guidance or support for creating a campaign targeting specific communities, contact one of our team by clicking here.

Let's see how we can work together