Celebrate America’s Diversity with Gap’s New Summer Ad

In Gap’s new summer ad, they used real people from the streets to model their summer clothing line. Gap continues its approach to multicultural youth in the US by creating ads that are relatable to the changing face of America and the way we consume advertisements. “I am Gap” also is also set as a vertical video frame to emulate the way consumers are creating social content on Instagram and Snapchat.

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Asian Culture Gets “Whitewashed” Again

With heightened attention on diversity and culture, you would think major Hollywood films would take notice. The newest film by Paramount Ghost in the Shell with lead actress Scarlett Johansson is the newest culprit in whitewashing films. The original character from the source material is Japanese and fans made their voices heard by using the films own marketing promotion. The film created a meme generator for fans to create their own creative content; many used it to promote Rinko kikuchi who fans thought should have been casted as the lead role.

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Nike Gets Inclusive With the ‘Pro Hijab’

In a time of great diversity, inclusion has never been stronger. Nike is one of the largest and most recognizable brands in the world, and has been on a big push for equality “Inspiration and Innovation for Every Athlete of the World”. Most recently Nike unveiled their equality campaign that features some of the biggest athlete of our time and supports all athletes no matter where they come from.

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Say Hello To Gerber Baby of 2016!

Congratulations to Isla for being chosen as the Gerber Baby for 2016! Isla was chosen out of 170,000 entries and will have the opportunity to be featured in Gerber ads. Isla definitely gets #MMXLII’s vote! Click here to read more.

Nielsen Releases First Multicultural ‘SUPER CONSUMER’ Report

Nielsen has recently released their first multicultural consumer report titled “The Multicultural Edge: Rising Super Consumers” which identifies multicultural consumers as the most dynamic and fasting growing segment of the U.S. consumer economy. According to Nielsen, multicultural consumers are spending $3.4 trillion and are the most dynamic and fasting growing segment of the U.S. consumer economy.

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Apple Planning to Add More Diversity to Emoji Character Set

Apple has plans to expand its emoji set to include emojis that are non-caucasian, according to Apple’s vice president of worldwide corporate communications, Katie Cotton, who spoke to MTV Act (via The Verge). The company says it is working with the Unicode Consortium to add more characters to its emoji offerings.

“Tim forwarded your email to me. We agree with you. Our emoji characters are based on the Unicode standard, which is necessary for them to be displayed properly across many platforms. There needs to be more diversity in the emoji character set, and we have been working closely with the Unicode Consortium in an effort to update the standard.”

After originating in Japan, emoji were incorporated into Unicode, which allowed them to be used on multiple platforms. The character set has largely featured caucasian icons, however, which Apple aims to change.

Apple’s last change to emojis came with iOS 6, when the company added additional characters and made emoji accessible to all users. Previously, special apps were required to access emoji on iOS. iOS 7, released in late 2013, did not include any new emoji, but it is possible Apple could make some changes to the characters with iOS 8 later this year.

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Honey Maid Celebrates Single Dads, Gay Dads, Punk Dads and More

Ever since Cheerios struck unexpected marketing gold with its subtle ad about an interracial family, brands seem to have woken to the realization that inclusiveness can be a good thing. Or even a great thing.

And this week, no one’s more inclusive than Honey Maid. The graham cracker brand has launched a new spot from Droga5 called “This Is Wholesome,” featuring real-life parents from many different backgrounds. Although it’s only a :30, we see at least five different families, not one of which fits into advertising’s usual white, heterosexual paradigm.

There are gay dads, two mixed-race families (one military), a single dad and a punk-rock family that dances around dad’s drum kit. This level of ultra-diversity could easily feel forced if the footage hadn’t been selected and handled so deftly. The three corresponding documentary clips below also complement the campaign’s storytelling and highlight that these are real families and neighbors.

The warmth of the campaign gets doused a bit when corporate parent Mondelez International discusses the ad, but I suppose you have to give them points for practicality. The campaign’s news release opens with stats on the number of U.S. single-parent families (20 million) and Hispanic families (11.6 million), along with the fact that one in 12 marriages are interracial.

“We recognize change is happening every day, from the way in which a family looks today to how a family interacts to the way it is portrayed in media,” marketing director Gary Osifchin says in a statement. “We at Honey Maid continue to evolve and expand our varieties to provide delicious, wholesome products so they can be a part of everyday moments of connection in a world with changing, evolving family dynamics.”

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What to Watch: The Tanning of America One Nation Under Hip-Hop [Documentary]

VH1’s The Tanning of America will explore hip-hop’s influence and debuts today.

Over the past 40 years, a cultural shift, marked most recently and vividly by the election ofPresident Obama, has been underway. Hip-hop culture, and its luminaries including Fab 5 Freddy,Dr. Dre, Diddy and Russell Simmons, has been the driving catalyst and laid the foundation for the development of this new generation.

Entrepreneur, advertising and record executive Steve Stoute has had a front-row seat and been an active participant while this transformation has taken place, distinctly conveying those thoughts in his 2011 best-seller The Tanning of America: How Hip-Hop Created a Culture That Rewrote the Rules of the New Economy.

“Tanning” is not simply the process of hip-hop culture being accepted by mainstream culture. Rather, it’s the creation of an entirely new culture. “It’s an entire new language, [and] an entire new approach that comes from an openness to borrow and learn and share cultural data,” Stoute says. “People are now hopefully willing to visit, accept, deal with and participate in other cultures. You’re seeing a generation that has adopted that to their lifestyle. That’s the reason why I go back to [saying], ‘You can’t just predetermine someone’s cultural values,’ because we are all borrowing from each other’s culture. There’s so much cultural sharing and tanning happening, that you have to be able to really deal with somebody for who they are. You can’t just hedge on anything because of the amount of sharing and the amount of information that’s being transferred.”

Stoute joined forces with VH1 and filmmakers Billy Corben and Alfred Spellman for a four-part documentary series, The Tanning of America: One Nation Under Hip-Hop, based on his book. Life+Times caught up with Stoute to discuss his ideas about recent tanning moments, and the documentary, which is set to air on VH1 February 24-27.

Read Life+Time’s interview with Steve Stoute here