All Articles Tagged "Makula Dunbar"
When thinking about advertising, the process behind showcasing a great product or service to mass consumers seems simple. First off, it helps to actually have a great universal product. Second, it’s strategizing and creating either a funny, identifiable or emotional message. Lastly, it’s placing the ad on TV, radio, print or the World Wide Web. Sound about right? Not exactly.
In actuality, advertising can be complex. Add a cultural approach to the equation, even more so. Unfortunately, a three-part checklist won’t do the trick. If only each and every consumer was one in the same, what an easy task it would be to get messages across. However, with an estimated U.S. Asian population of 15.5 million and a Hispanic population of 48.4 million, there’s no denying ethnicity and culture is a prevalent staple in everyday life—that deserves recognition.
“The number of corporations that do specific ethnic advertising is still relatively small,” says Burrell Communication co-CEO Fay Ferguson. “Making communications programs beamed at these audiences is not only necessary, but critical.”
McDonald’s Corporation —one of Burrell’s long-standing clients — is an example of one that outsources, allowing the agency to create advertisements for the African-American community.
Hard to Reach
With recent studies, advertisements and agencies pushing cross-cultural communications, it’s a blur as to what multicultural tactics are even effective. Should agencies stretch one message or slogan across cultures without alteration? Should advertisers reach out to individual ethnicities tailoring their brand so that’s it’s culturally relevant? Is it absolutely necessary for advertisers to reach out to every market?
“It’s definitely important for companies to understand that the Latino community is growing. The Asian community is growing as well and if they don’t tap into these communities, they’re going to find themselves in a very small segment in the actual market,” said Alfonso Covarrubias, creative director at multicultural advertising agency Maya.
In 2008, filmmaker Dennis Dortch was living the life that many independent film directors and writers aspired to. After being rejected by Sundance the previous year, his film “A Good Day to be Black and Hot” was gaining well-deserved praise and attention.
“It was probably the greatest experience in my filmmaking career. It’s the time that every filmmaker wants. To be recognized in the street, have your film be talked about,” said Dortch. “People come pat you on the back. That happened for like two weeks. They take care of you very well and make you the star when usually the stars are the people in the film.”
Nicknamed “Blackdance,” it’s apparent that since 2008, there has been an increase in the number of African-American filmmakers showcasing their work at the most esteemed film festival in the country. In 2010, there were just over a dozen, still a significantly low number compared to the 113 films that were accepted. One of the most prevalent black films that did make it to theaters was Tanya Hamilton’s “Night Catches Us,” a romantic drama based on the 1970s Black Power movement.
Though beyond the Sundance Film Festival, there lies a misty void in African- American culture that many in the film industry are working hard to solidify. Organizations like the Urbanworld Film Festival, the American Black Film Festival and distributor Codeblack Entertainment (Qasim Basir’s Mooz-lum and Laugh at my Pain) significantly contribute to the cause every year. However, it’s using the foundation that these organizations have built, breaking out of a subculture and making an impact on the general indie film market that will garner lasting effects.
While countless theatrical projects find themselves birthed at film festivals and carried by unwavering support to neighborhood theaters, black independent films are still lagging behind. From their presence in the general independent film market to their journey onto the big screen, an inquiry constantly hovers: what’s the hold up with black indie films?