Multicultural marketing manager, Stellantis
As the U.S. population becomes more diverse, the multicultural marketing team at Stellantis has been working to tailor ad messaging to resonate with ethnic consumers and increasing its spending with agencies owned by African Americans.
The multicultural marketing and advertising arm is headed by Juan Torres, who has been with the automaker for nine years. Lauren Morrison, who joined the company four years ago, supports Torres as the manager.
The multicultural unit has shepherded various campaigns recently touting critical Stellantis vehicles such as the Jeep Grand Wagoneer and Ram pickups.
In one, Torres said they aimed a Ram campaign at Latino consumers whom he said account for 16 percent of the pickup segment.
The spot, called “Lupita,” featured Mexican-American singer Lupita Infante. The ad centered on a message of being hard-working, driven and making sacrifices for one’s family.
Torres said the campaign reflected his own upbringing with a Colombian father and American mother. He was born in Colombia and split time there and in the U.S. while growing up.
“What really I think has made us very proud of that campaign is that it resonated very well because we felt that it was important to tell a story about Ram trucks to a population that in many ways is like a description of my own background,” Torres said. “Latino Americans, people who have either been born outside of the United States or born into the United States, but have a very direct and emotional connection to their heritage.”
Stellantis has been building relationships with Black-owned ad agencies and teaming with them on various projects.
Stellantis launched a Grand Wagoneer campaign in February starring former NBA player Jalen Rose. The spot, “Where I’m From,” shows the Detroit native driving through the city in the plush SUV as he talks about how his hometown shaped him. The campaign was created in partnership with Boulevard, a Black-owned ad agency in Detroit.
The automaker worked with another Black-owned agency, Ten35, to craft a campaign around its Black designers. Stellantis design chief Ralph Gilles and others spoke of being among the few Black people in the field, inspiring others to consider that line of work and the importance of Black youth having examples to look up to.
The spot was revealed this year during the Juneteenth Legacy Gala sponsored by the Stellantis African Ancestry Network Diaspora and was amplified on the automaker’s social channels.
“In the past year, the great thing is by having these relationships, we increased our investment with Black-owned agencies by 50 percent,” Morrison said. “So that’s really awesome, and that’s great progress. We’re happy about it, but we also know as a company that there’s still a lot of work to be done in this space, and we’re really looking forward to continuing to learn and continuing to progress.”
— Vince Bond Jr.