B Code

To reach Black consumers, brands must not only create content that addresses the issues those consumers care about, they also need to place their messages in media that are seen as culturally relevant by Black audiences, a new report from B Code finds.

More than four in 10 respondents (42 percent) said they respond more favorably to culturally relevant marketing content when it is placed on a “cultural website,” as opposed to a general-audience platform, where they can feel out of place.

“Leveraging talent that reflects the diversity of the Black community” was seen as very important by the survey respondents. More than three-quarters (76 percent) of them said an ad would be more likely to get their attention if it represented people like them. Other major draws included “stories of real people that are from the same ethnic group” (64 percent) and “music or other art that related to their ethnic/racial group” (50 percent).

A celebrity (67 percent) or influencer (65 percent) from their ethnic/racial group was also mentioned by respondents as a factor that would encourage them to be responsive to brand content.

As regards format, they showed a strong interest in audio and video content, with 72 percent saying they are likely to see digital content on an app, and social media close behind at 70 percent. More than half (54 percent) said they are likely to click on a digital ad, with 45 percent adding that they’d like to see more interactive video and other innovative models.

Data privacy was another concern, with 54 percent of respondents agreeing that “my identity should be protected at all times.” However, 54 percent also said that they considered ads targeted at them to be valuable, with 48 percent noting they understand that ads are often targeted to them through their online behavior.

To close the gap between Black consumers and brands, B Code general Damian Benders said that communicators “must work from the ground up to tailor genuine and respectful messaging that effectively reaches and connects with Black audiences.”

The “Black Attitudes Towards Digital Advertising” study surveyed 569 Black respondents between March 17 and 22. 2021, representing all main geographical areas of the United States.