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Sports Creating Cross-Cultural Opportunities in Las Vegas May 16, 2017

Even though the city was built on gambling and vice, the new Las Vegas has proven to be so much more. A-list theater and restaurants dominate the Strip and there are family friendly opportunities around every corner. In 2017, this is definitely not the Vegas of your childhood and even your parents’ childhood. It also doesn’t have the demographics of many years ago. The 2015 U.S. Census reports that about 31 percent of Hispanics live in Clark Country, Nevada. That…

Why Authenticity Matters: Developing Relationships with Consumers is the New Normal May 1, 2017

In theater, authenticity means believability — The audience is momentarily transformed to believe the actor is actually the character he or she plays on the stage. In marketing, authenticity involves a similar transformation, but one that lasts longer after the curtain lower. Authenticity when related to brands means messages that are of genuine or verifiable origin, and show the consumer respect opposed to talking down to them. In other words, authenticity involves qualities that are in direct odds with what…

Exposing unconscious bias will strengthen agencies in their diversity outreach April 6, 2017

Marketers can’t help who they are. Where they were born, how they were raised, which schools they attended (or not), how far they have traveled — These and many more factors comprise their biographies. But sometimes, when biographies that are more similar than different are assembled in one room, something happens that can sink a campaign: Unconscious bias. We often think of bias as involving a conscious decision. This is certainly the case when it comes to dealing with Civil…

Will Trump Chase Hispanics from the Republican Party for Good? September 22, 2016

Donald Trump has not made it easy for the GOP. He is wildly controversial, which is his appeal for voters looking to upset the system and the source of the scorn many have toward the billionaire presidential candidate whom moderate Republicans fear will permanently drive native-born Hispanics from the party. Were they there in the first place? Immigration and issue involving voting rights, education, and other issues have kept Hispanics at a distance from the party. During the 2012 election,…

Hamilton uses color-blind casting to shed new light on history August 1, 2016

The Broadway musical “Hamilton” is everywhere. Did you score tickets? If you did you know the Herculean effort you took to get them. There’s no doubt the musical is the cultural event of this year and likely next year too. What makes “Hamilton” especially relevant is that it purposely uses color-blind casting to and unorthodox musical styles to subvert the familiar story of the Founding Fathers. Creator and actor Lin-Manuel Miranda has cast many of the historical figures — all…

Admit it: You love your telenovela. May 4, 2016

The seductive mistress, the beautiful couple, the Cinderella damsel, the evil twin sister, the exotic locations and the endless cachetadas (slap on the face): All these storytelling elements have made telenovelas the number one entertainment genre for Hispanic households in the U.S. Spanish for “television novel,” the telenovela emerged decades ago and quickly became an outlet for Hispanic audiences to view romantic portrayals of their own people that they were not seeing on western television, where Hispanics are more likely…

Beware of borrowing from other cultures without showing respect March 29, 2016

Images, words, music, and style all have a long history of being borrowed, transformed, and re-introduced into society with their meanings and purpose transformed. The cut-and-paste aesthetic given to us by digital technology has made this easier for artists, designers, sports teams, and even politicians to repurpose content they may have had no knowledge of in the past. Consider Donald Trump who during campaign stops has been reciting the lyrics of “The Snake,” a 1963 song by Chicago jazz poet…

Are you a disrupter or a protestor? March 22, 2016

Language matters, and how you say things says volumes about your brand. Take Trump. Donald Trump’s rally in Chicago this month drew thousands of protestors outside the pavilion where he was scheduled to speak. Many people, mostly young university students, found their way inside. They brought banners, they chanted chants, and some even made their way to the stage. By exercising their right to assemble they sent a clear message: Trump, the leading Republican Party presidential primary candidate, was not…

Brands can help change whitewashing in media March 1, 2016

How we view the world is often shaped about by what we see in the world. But too often what the world reflects back to us is not the whole story. Take this year’s Oscars nominees. Prominent minority actors protested the telecast because nominees in the dominant categories are largely white, despite the breakthrough performances by people of color throughout the year. A similar distortion is common at Fashion Week where runway model are predominantly white. Unlike the Oscars, top…

El Chapo takes his brand directly to U.S. audience February 23, 2016

Actor Sean Penn sparked outrage among journalists when, in January, Rolling Stone published his lengthy interview with notorious cartel kingpin Joaquín Guzmán Loera of Mexico who is otherwise known as “El Chapo.” Before his recent capture, Guzmán was one of the most wanted people in the world for his role in running an international drug cartel and federal prosecutors want him for murder, kidnapping, and other violent crimes. So journalists balked that Guzmán used Penn to get his story out…

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