Frito Lay's Perspective on Building Community Through Multicultural Marketing

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Cover image for  article: Frito Lay's Perspective on Building Community Through Multicultural Marketing

Marissa Solis, Senior Vice President Marketing and Media at Frito Lay North America, will be a keynote speaker at the ANA's Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference, to be held October 24-26 in San Diego. Marissa shared her thoughts on the importance of multicultural marketing with ANA Senior Director Gena Casciano in advance of the conference.

Gena Casciano: How has your focus on multicultural marketing helped build your business?

Marissa Solis: With Frito-Lay in 94% of households, we have the unique opportunity to reach a large breadth of consumers every day, and the backgrounds and experiences of these consumers are all so unique. Finding ways to connect with each consumer -- whether through endless flavor innovation or their experiences with our brands -- is critical to our success. Multicultural communities are no longer on the fringes -- they are driving culture and change, and we want to create a community among our brands where all feel welcome to express themselves and find joy in our products. An example of this is Cheetos' Deja tu huella campaign, which means "leave your mark" in English. With this sentiment in mind, Cheetos teamed up with Latin superstar Bad Bunny to rally the next generation to leave their mark on culture -- whether through music, fashion or entertainment. Over the last year the campaign has done just that, sponsoring the expansion of the Latin award categories at the American Music Awards, collaborating with adidas on a limited-edition fashion line, and investing $1 million to support the Hispanic community.

Casciano: What multicultural marketing campaigns have you seen that have broken through and that you admire?

Solis:Some of my favorites include McDonald's Celebrity Meals' "J Balvin Meal," P&G's "The Look" and Jack Daniel's "Small Town, Big Pride" campaign. They have taken authentic elements of an underrepresented community and made them part of the brand in a way that tells a compelling narrative, educating and evoking emotion.

Casciano: You will be speaking at the ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference, October 24 -26 in San Diego, CA. What will be the focus of your session, and what do you hope to share with the audience?

Solis:I will speak about the importance of defining and living your brand purpose as a way to connect with your audience more authentically. Frito-Lay's purpose is sparking joy, which is our north star when it comes to how we engage consumers. We are focused on enhancing the lives of all consumers -- especially communities who need to be seen and heard now more than ever. I hope to share more about the magic that comes in leading with purpose to create an industry and programs where all feel represented and welcome.

Casciano: What one thing can multicultural marketers do to increase the impact of their marketing?

Solis:Authenticity is key. Consumers are looking to brands to instill that same sense of values and purpose in everything they do. While purpose and values have always been an integral part of our identity, the past year showed us just how important purposeful multicultural marketing has become. That's why defining the role you play in enhancing your consumer's life and living that purpose authentically is so important today.

Casciano: How has diversity and inclusion evolved at your company over the years?

Solis: Working for a company that prioritizes diversity and inclusion is of highest importance to me, and I appreciate the commitment [parent company] PepsiCo has to championing diversity. I have spent my entire career advocating for diversity and engagement, ensuring that we not only reflect and elevate all the communities that we serve, but that we also work to recruit, develop and retain a diverse workforce. I led the implementation of the first Hispanic Business Unit at PepsiCo Beverages North America to ensure the products and creative campaigns credibly resonate with our Hispanic consumers. With more than 60 million Latinos living in the U.S., the Hispanic Business Unit worked to add the layer of authenticity needed to connect and continue driving brand loyalty. PepsiCo has also implemented the Black and Hispanic Racial Equality Journeys -- a series of commitments to elevate communities of color internally and externally through scholarships, internal advancement and community engagement. In support of those efforts, Frito-Lay established a dedicated position to advance racial equality across our work, including activating a Culture Council with representation across Black, LatinX, LGBTQIA+ and Asian cohorts to provide proactive and reactive consultation on branded content, campaigns and media partnerships.

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