Study Commissioned by SXM Media, MAGNA & Identity Finds that Audio Ads that Leverage a Cultural Connection Drive Brand Growth

NEW YORK (Dec. 19) — MAGNA Media Trials, MAGNA’s industry-leading, proprietary research offering, and Identity, Mediabrands’ cultural consultancy arm, collaborated with SXM Media on a study, released today, on multicultural audiences, including AAPI, Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino audiences. The study, titled “Challenging the ‘One & Done’ Approach,” reveals how critical it is for brands to invest in digital audio creative that culturally connects with multicultural audiences to drive growth. The study also highlights what levers brands should pull or avoid to connect with diverse audiences more authentically.

Many marketers leverage a “one and done” creative approach for all audiences, without being mindful of the multifaceted nature of diverse audiences and the cultural nuances that make them so distinct from one another, even within their own segments. To address this pitfall, the study set out to determine the most impactful digital-audio, ad-creative strategy for Growth/multicultural audiences. The report analyzed the importance of culture for today’s American consumer, along with what happens when brands connect to multicultural consumers on a cultural level through digital audio ads.

“We are living in a time when culture is more accessible than ever. And as this continues to happen, we are rediscovering our history, celebrating our roots, and reclaiming our pasts to make it a prominent part of our present,” said Deidre Smalls-Landau, EVP, Managing Partner, Mediabrands Identity. “As such, we are expecting brands to also do their homework to acknowledge the multidimensional nature of our communities, as well as realizing that the bar on authenticity has been raised. Authentically reaching diverse audiences requires an understanding of how we code switch, when we accentuate, and how fluid identities truly are.”

The study recruited digital audio listeners across two industry verticals, clothing and dining, and collected responses from three multicultural groups, as well as the U.S. general population. The types of digital ads tested were General Market advertising, mainstream ads aimed at broad audiences, Blanket Multicultural advertising, ads customized for all multicultural groups combined, and Culture-specific advertising, ads customized for specific cultural groups (in this case AAPI, Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino) by referencing specific food, dialect, themes, etc., pertaining to that group. The multicultural versions of scripts and spots for this study were crafted by the creative team at Studio Resonate, an audio agency that creates campaigns for advertisers within the SXM Media portfolio.

“Diverse audiences respond to representation in advertising, and they react more favorably to ads that are ‘blanket’ multicultural and, more so, culture-specific, with these two types of ads well outscoring those created for general population on a range of indicators,” said Kara Manatt, EVP, Managing Director, Intelligence Solutions at MAGNA. “As long as the spots ring true and do not fall to stereotypes, brands that create advertising for specific, diverse communities will reap positive outcomes across favorability, preference and relevance.”

Additional takeaways from “Challenging the ‘One & Done’ Approach” include:

    • General Market audio ads fail to resonate with multicultural audiences: General Market audio ads had lower impact on brand favorability and brand preference. While the general market audio ads saw a +13% lift in brand favorability among general audiences, the lift was only +4% for multicultural audiences. Similarly, the general market audio ads drove an +11% lift in brand preference for general audiences, and only +5% for multicultural.
    • Cultural audio ads drive positive emotion and brand impact among multicultural audiences: People feel happy and excited after hearing cultural ads, and brands benefit from higher brand relevance. Cultural ads drove a +6% lift in brand relevance among multicultural audiences, while the general market ad only drove a lift of +3%. Similarly, these culturally relevant ads drove +8% lift in brand favorability among multicultural audiences.
    • Culture-specific audio ads connect with multicultural audiences on a deeper, cultural level: Surpassing General Market audio ads and Blanket multicultural audio ads, Culture-specific audio ads have a halo effect on the brand, making multicultural audiences feel as if the brand itself is culturally conscious. In turn, this fosters the perception that the brand is “relevant to them.”
      • Multicultural audiences who strongly identify with their race and ethnicity like the Culture-specific audio ad more, which ultimately leads to increased purchase intent.
    • Multicultural audiences/growth segments want to see “Authentic representation” in ads: Authenticity in ads is important to the majority of multicultural audiences (76%), as surface level references in Culture-specific audio ads, such as exaggerated accents and limited language insertions, are not enough to achieve authenticity.
    • “Relatability” is a key driver for likeability of Culture-specific audio ads: Relatability is complex as you get more specific; references might not feel relevant to everyone in the group. When the references in the Culture-specific audio ads are directly relevant to the specific cultural group, brands benefit from higher brand preference.


“While brand ads have become much more inclusive these past few years, culture-specific messages are still not every advertiser’s top priority,” said Nidia Serrano, Vice President, Sales Marketing, SXM Media. “Specificity matters, especially for an increasingly culturally connected group who doesn’t always hear or see themselves in ads. Digital audio is an easy and effective way for brands to celebrate all voices and to be more relevant and gain the love and attention of multicultural consumers.”

The full study can be found here.



MAGNA is the leading global media investment and intelligence company. Our trusted insights, proprietary trials offerings, industry-leading negotiation and unparalleled consultative solutions deliver an actionable marketplace advantage for our clients and subscribers.

We are a team of experts driven by results, integrity and inquisitiveness. We operate across five key competencies, supporting clients and cross-functional teams through partnership, education, accountability, connectivity and enablement. For more information, please visit our website: and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Identity

Identity is a diversity consultative practice under IPG Mediabrands. With specialties in the Hispanic / Latino, Black/African Americans, Asian, LGBTQ, Gen Z consumer segments, Identity designs cultural solutions to help organizations futureproof their business and thrive internally and externally. Identity adheres to a proprietary approach, known as CULTURESMART™, as a way to strategically map the DNA of cultural influence, to unlock opportunities and accelerate the momentum for brands. By doing this they focus on the most influential, high growth audiences and cultures most relevant for a brand.

About SXM Media

SXM Media is the gateway for marketers to the largest digital audio advertising ecosystem in North America. As the combined advertising revenue organization of Sirius XM Holdings Inc., SXM Media spans across leading owned and operated audio platforms Pandora, SiriusXM, and Stitcher; innovative ad tech solutions powered by AdsWizz; sonic creative consultancy Studio Resonate; and an extended content network featuring exclusive monetization agreements with Audiochuck, NBCUniversal, SoundCloud, and many more. Reaching more than 150 million listeners each month, SXM Media delivers audiences tailored brand experiences while putting creators first, making it easy for every marketer to produce, plan, buy, and measure across its entire audio universe.

For more information, please go to:

About Studio Resonate

In 2009, Studio Resonate created the world’s first streaming audio ad with Pandora. Over 200,000 audio ads later, that spirit of innovation is still what drives us. From global sonic strategy to cutting-edge advertising to daily audio production, we are the makers behind the signature sounds of countless beloved brands. We may not be able to see what the future holds, but we do know what it sounds like. Tomorrow’s audio is being created by Studio Resonate and its advertising partners.

To learn more visit


Media Contacts

Zinnia Gill
VP, Global Corporate Communications
[email protected]


Victoria Chow
Director, Corporate Communications
[email protected]