Tag Archives: women

Tough Love and Truth about the Ad Industry

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Pepsico President — Global Beverages Group, Brad Jakeman  


Harley-Davidson, Chief Marketing Officer Mark-Hans Richter “truth tell”  about the ad industry.

“The Lack of Diversity”

“I am sick and tired as a client of sitting in agency meetings with a whole bunch of white straight males talking to me about how we are going to sell our brands that are bought 85% by women,” he said. “Innovation and disruption does not come from homogeneous groups of people.”

“Fake Fight: Millennials vs. Boomers” — Why limit (your) growth to marketing directed to young adults?

“Youth does not own cool. Youth does not own growth. Youth does not own innovation or disruption.” he said. “Old people are a growth market, too.”

The article, Pepsico Exec Has Tough Words For Agencies, underscores issues that have long been prevalent in the ad industry.

Chief among these is diversity or more appropriately, the lack of diversity within the industry.

Whether the target audience is African- American, Latino, Asian, Women, LGBT or combinations including one or more, your agency has to have knowledgeable staff in order to effectively connect.


“Paying to Take Care Of Self”

Black women play a critical and influential role in driving consumer spending.

In many instances, Black women are the Chief Executive Officer of their household, with the responsibility for managing financial risks, planning, and record keeping.  Her children and family are the core of daily life, though she sometimes feels tired, frustrated and overwhelmed.

She is confident, strong and accomplished.  As the CEO and “money manager,” Black women have much to juggle between family, career and life’s daily demands.  These demands leave her limited time and resources.  This makes it challenging for Black women to have personal celebratory indulgent moments. Perhaps it is a workplace requirement, but Black women have figured out how to turn grooming into affordable indulgences — little luxuries.  These “little luxuries” are not selfish indulgences; instead they are moments of relaxation that make her feel good. 

Chief among these “little luxuries” are hair and nails.

According to the market research specialists at Mintel, Black women spend approximately $500 billion, (yes, BILLION!!) on hair care annually. To put that figure into perspective, that’s about 5 times larger than the gross domestic product of Puerto Rico. In fact, Black women spend more money on hair care than any other group.

These indulgences are not just about making herself beautiful.

She, perhaps more importantly, is paying someone to perform a service — an empowering indulgent reward whose end product is making her look and feel better. 

She pays someone to “do her hair.”

She pays someone to “do her nails.”  

When you see her, you recognize that she “paid to take care of self.”  I love that term.  My friend and colleague, Carol Sagers coined it.  “Getting your hair or nails done in a salon or spa is a luxury;  doing them yourself is grooming.”

Sagers is a dynamic leader with a track record of creating innovative marketing strategies that grow brands and businesses.

In my professional career, I have consistently made having a conversation with Black women integral to every strategy targeting the Black Consumer Market.  It is a guiding principle, one that all markets should pay attention to.

Links to some of my other blog posts about Black women and what motivates their consumer behavior are listed below.

Miss Recessionsita


African-American Women Offer Unparalleled Opportunities for Brands


The Role of Lipstick in a Depressed Economy


The Black Mom and The Barber Shop





The African-American Woman Offers Unparalleled Opportunities for Brands

IMG_4004Check out this link from Nielsen to gain insight as to why a conversation with “her” is essential…and makes very good business sense






Portrait of Nina

140811_r25323a-690As a child, my mother introduced me to the music (and politics) of Nina Simone.  It took me years to fully appreciate Simone’s gifts and message.  A contemporary of Lorraine Hansberry, James Baldwin and Harry Belafonte, “her intelligence and restless force attracted African-American culture’s finest minds.” Simone was was one of the true pioneering voices of the Civil Rights movement. She changed the face of both music and race relations in America.

“Her skin was very black, and she was made fully aware of that, along with the fact that her nose was too large. The aesthetics of race—and the loathing and self-loathing inflicted on those who vary from accepted standards of beauty—is one of the most pervasive aspects of racism, yet it is not often discussed. The standards have been enforced by blacks as well as by whites.”

Click here to read the full New Yorker article, A Raised Voice, How Nina Simone Turned the Movement Into Music.

Photo: Courtesy New York Public Library

To learn more about Simone, start by reading I Put A Spell On You, The Autobiography of Nina Simone and listening to The Essential Nina Simone

DIVA ON A DIME – Wealth isn’t characterized by Income and Spending Alone

Last February, I posted a blog, “Meet Miss Recessionista.”

It spoke to how women are “holding it down” – surviving the economic crunch, shifting priorities and doing the same (and in some cases, more) with less.

One year later, surviving in a tough economic climate is still prevalent among all consumers, but especially African-Americans.

While unemployment declined to 8.5%, African-American unemployment rose to 15.8%.

Taking nothing away from my brothers, it is fact that sisters are more actively involved and engaged in the shopping process.

To that point, there is an article, “Living Large On Less,” in the February issue of ESSENCE Magazine.

The cover “tease” boasts DIVA ON A DIME – How You Can Do More With Less.

Part of an on-going series, the article examines

“…how women are spending and saving in these uncertain times. Three ESSENCE readers – a teacher, an accountant and an entrepreneur – give up the goods on how to afford the the things you love.”

Check it out.