In 1971, Canada was the first government in the world to implement multiculturalism as official state policy. A commitment to multiculturalism became official Canadian policy during the tenure of the late Pierre Elliot Trudeau, the father of current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

“Canadian multiculturalism is fundamental to our belief that all citizens are equal. Multiculturalism ensures that all citizens can keep their identities, can take pride in their ancestry and have a sense of belonging. Acceptance gives Canadians a feeling of security and self-confidence, making them more open to, and accepting of, diverse cultures. The Canadian experience has shown that multiculturalism encourages racial and ethnic harmony and cross-cultural understanding.”

Government of Canada

However, embracing diversity and multiculturalism in advertising has been a struggle in North America. For decades companies pushed marketing collateral that often reflected a homogenous view of the population, neglecting to include marginalized and diverse voices and communities.

Today, the tide is changing; more advertising firms are creating commercials and materials that are inclusive, and at times combating social ills:

According to a new study by Deloitte-owned agency Heat, the benefits to increasing diversity are clear.

Furthering the original ad spend and reach of the materials, these ads often become viral, with social commentary articles and videos published to praise the inclusivity. The earned media multiplies the reach of the advertising material, increasing the return to the company.

However, it’s important to be inclusive in advertising in the right way. “It’s less about checking a box and making sure, frankly, you have a woman or a person of colour in your ad…It’s about recognizing that people are complex…. It’s no longer a question of if you should do this but if you can afford not to,” said Maggie Gross, Heat’s head of strategy.

With Canada’s commitment to multiculturalism, and the clear benefits that have been shown in creating inclusive advertising collateral, shifting your advertising strategy makes strategic sense.

LAT Multilingual helps companies connect with a diverse marketplace. Multicultural marketing is what we do. We are a diverse team of language and marketing specialists who share a passion for communication and connecting with authenticity. We know we can improve your bottom line through strategic messaging and advertising that leverages multicultural marketing best practices.

Contact LAT to find how you can excel through diverse advertising.