Forget multiculturalism. Omniculturalism is the next wave of diversity and inclusion, said Tricia Melton, senior vice president of marketing and brand for Freeform and Linda Ong, chief culture officer at Civic Entertainment at the Promax Conference 2019 at the J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live in Los Angeles on Wednesday.
“Omniculturalism says we’re all the sum product of a unique set of circumstances,” said Ong. “What that helps us do is understand and empathize with people – who we are as human beings and all the ways we identify as ourselves.”
In contrast, multiculturalism, where we have existed for the past several years, is more like a “literal pie chart, dividing communities into slices of pie according to population size,” said Ong. “This point of view is still predominantly white, male, hetero-normative and patriarchal. If your segment of the population is 6%, then you’ve got 6% of the voice. What you are really looking at is diversity based on difference.”
To that end, Melton and Ong showed a series of spots that showcases how brands are embracing omniculturalism – celebrating people for what makes them unique.
Ong started with the below spot for Levi’s:
“This is all about the simple human truth that we all really love to bust a move,” joked Ong.
“The editing on this spot is phenomenal – a lot of people think diversity is just about casting, but if you go back and look at this spot, it seamlessly connects different people in different cultures.”
This next spot, by Adidas, “illuminates the ways we are alike as opposed to different,” said Melton.
The following ad, by personal stylist Stitch Fix, aired during the Oscars and focused on making everyone feel beautiful in their bodies.
Nike, who continues to take its Just Do It brand to new places, subverted expectations with the below spot:
“What I love about this spot is that when I started watching it, I thought it was a spot about racial diversity, but it’s actually a spot about ageism and combating your expectations around people of an advanced age,” said Ong.
Finally, in this final brand spot, Google celebrates women of all shapes, sizes and colors for #InternationalWomensDay:
“I have aspirational envy around this spot,” Melton said.
Moving over to entertainment marketers, Melton and Ong showed off a few pieces that reveal omniculturalism in the promotion of shows:
“These promos pretty much treat these people as entirely normal,” said Ong. “In this omnicultural world, difference is normal.”