Exploring the dual media characteristics of ethnic communities in the UK

Ethnic Audiences: Targeting Diversity with OOH Messaging

Ethnic audiences in the UK are on the rise. Since 1951, the UK’s ethnic population has been steadily increasing by an average of +24% every 10 years. Currently standing at 10m people, it is estimated that by 2050, ethnic communities will double, making up >30% of the country’s total population.

Ethnic groups are not just getting bigger but younger. The ONS estimates that going forward, 25% of children under 10 will have an ethnic background, adding further complexity to reaching younger audiences in the future.

UK ethnic communities are widely dispersed across the entire country but in some cities like Leicester, Luton and Slough, the majority of the population is already ethnic. London is of course one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world with 300 languages spoken and >50 non-indigenous communities. 37% of London residents are born outside the UK and 25% of them are born outside Europe.

The biggest ethnic groups in the UK are South Asian, Black African/Caribbean, Chinese and Polish. There is however a multitude of different ethnic groups living primarily in London, ranging from Arab and Turkish to Western European and Jewish, each one congregating around specific areas within the capital.

Aside from understanding that ethnic communities are no longer a minority but an integral part of the country’s demographic profile, there is also the need to realise that these people have dual media characteristics, being part of both a wider British audience and an ethnic one. This creates implications for brands trying to tap into the mindset of ethnic communities without using the right codes, messages and tone. It is thus essential for advertisers to understand that their campaigns need to be diverse and multi-faceted, not just to maximise growth, but also to mirror the UK’s growing ethnic portfolio.

Talon has partnered with OMG Ethnic, Omnicom’s ethnic minority media behaviour business unit, in order to tailor our OOH offering to suit the needs of the emerging ethnic communities.

Taking advantage of the plethora of available locational data through the ONS, we are in a position to locate exactly where these audiences live, work and shop and prioritise key hotspots down to postcode level. This allows us to efficiently target points of ethnic interest and more importantly differentiate the ethnic message by taking into account cultural nuances. At the core of our ethnic planning lies Route, which holds data on the major ethnic communities in the UK, thus allowing us to accurately account for the ethnic audiences we are trying to reach.

Targeting ethnic audiences with OOH is something that we have already been doing as both stand-alone campaigns and as part of a wider broadcast message. Visa China has used copy localisation to talk to a Chinese-speaking audience, making them aware of the benefits and rewards available whilst shopping in the UK. Sainsbury’s has also used OOH to target Jewish communities during Passover as well as South Asian, Polish and African/Caribbean communities, throughout London, with their “Tastes of the World” food range.

We have also created bespoke OOH packs for 6 key ethnic communities: South Asian, Indian, Chinese, Black African/Caribbean, Eastern European and Jewish. These packs range from London to National OOH campaigns and from 2-week to 3-day short-term digital deals. All pack locations have been handpicked using ONS data on the distribution and congregation of the different ethnic communities in the UK, ranging from a city to a borough level.

By consulting with OMG Ethnic and using our own Talon Generator programme, we have also identified ethnic events and key dates throughout the year. These are relevant opportunities for a variety of brands to engage with a number of ethnic audiences, whether it is talking to the Indian community over Diwali or Chinese shoppers over Golden Week.

Through Talon’s partnership with OMG Ethnic, we are confident that OOH can offer targeted ethnic solutions. There is a growing demand in the advertising space to capitalise on consumer diversity, taking into account not just ethnicity but also things like sexual orientation and religious beliefs. The media landscape needs to be able to adjust to these new lines of communication and OOH is in a good position to start talking to people as individuals.

For more information on our ethnic OOH offering, please click here.