A CEO’s Perspective: The Presence, Power and Importance of Women and Minorities Shouldn’t Be an Afterthought

"You don’t have to go further than your Sunday headlines to know that these are tense, difficult times for minority and multicultural communities."

By Andrew Orci, President CEO, Orci 

Men, women and children marched across this country for more reasons than you could count on January 20. And yet it’s fair to say that no matter where they marched, they were focused on two things: calling attention to what’s wrong, and then marching toward fixing it. On the heels of International Women’s Day coming up on March 8, I’m reminded that the changing tide with regard to minority and women’s rights—from equal pay to the right to a living/working environment free from fear of sexual harassment or discrimination—is a long time coming. 

You don’t have to go further than your Sunday headlines to know that these are tense, difficult times for minority and multicultural communities. So this year, I am delighted that we marched in even greater number. Together, we marched because we are concerned for our families’ safety, and scared of what the future may bring. We marched because we are determined to elevate our voices, and make sure they are heard. We marched with the belief that things will get better and that the status quo is temporary. 

I can proudly tell you that the kinship we all felt alongside our fellow marchers was effortless, and at the same time necessary. With each step, we communicated our shared values and the caring we felt for each other. For minority marchers, it served as reassurance of support and acceptance, and granted understanding that we are surrounded by people who have our back in what’s to come. 

But what does that mean for the marketing and advertising world, outside of a few photo opps on social media? 

It means that now is a time when every friendly word goes deep, and in marketing, it means there’s an opportunity for brands to make a lasting impact. 

As marketing professionals, it’s our responsibility to encourage our clients to reach out to every community to show respect, regard and support. It was also the single-most important reason my parents launched Orci, and more broadly, was the impetus behind the Hispanic advertising industry. 

Let me give you an example. Back in the 80s, Disneyland’s Latino attendance stood at roughly seven percent, even though the park was surrounded by a large Latino population. The popular assumption was that Latinos couldn’t afford the Disneyland experience, so marketing to them wasn’t a priority. But then they brought us on, and we quickly realized that Latinos needed an explicit invitation. The reason for that is that the Latino experience in the United States is complex, and unfortunately, we don’t always feel welcome. And whenever our welcome is in doubt, we’ll simply stay away. Orci understood this inherent complexity, and within six weeks of targeted Latino outreach, their attendance at the park almost tripled. 

Fast-forward 30-plus years, and the power of an explicit “invitation” from a brand remains equally relevant, if not more meaningful than ever. It’s a message that can touch the heart and earn the loyalty of an entire community for years to come. 

And to do that, we first begin by understanding the consumer target and how the brand fits into their lives and can make their lives better. It’s a matter of understanding the differences or similarities in the lifestyles of multicultural communities, and recognizing that “family” is a core value. It’s also a matter of knowing that women are the heart and soul of the family, and advertisers would do well to respect them as such. These are the women who get involved in their children’s lives and who make sure the household money is stretched to cover the resources that will help their children succeed. They do everything in their power to raise their children in an environment where they can achieve their dreams. 

We must endeavor to ensure that our message of respect and regard to each of these consumers is something they not only hear, but feel. It’s a message brought to life by the many women of varied backgrounds on our team at Orci, and countless agencies worldwide.