Why Multicultural Marketing is No Longer Enough for the Rainbow Nation: Conceptualising the Role of Marketing in Intercultural Relations in Post-Colonial Contexts: An Abstract

Lizette Vorster, Eva Kipnis, Gaye Bebek, Catherine Demangeot

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapport/proceedingKonferenceabstrakt i proceedingsForskningpeer review


One significant fallout of post-colonial development in Africa is intercultural tensions between groups descending from the colonisers and the colonised. South Africa (SA) is aiming to resolve these tensions by peaceful means of developing a Rainbow Nation (RN) building strategy, following the progressive dismantlement of the apartheid regime (Bornman 2011; Petzer and De Meyer 2013). RN ideology is underpinned by inclusivity to all cultural groups and building communities where cultural diversity is recognized and respected (Runhare and Mulaudzi 2012; Stewart and Ivala 2017). SA legislation strongly encourages marketers to cater to all the consumers in the marketplace (Sallaz 2010).

Problematically, there is a growing consumer frustration with marketing efforts to engage with and reflect RN as a lived experience. While SA marketers widely utilise multicultural marketing strategies, these campaigns often remains stereotypical and is perceived as discriminatory, i.e. consumers discontent with depictions of Black people dancing for everything from tea to signal (Dayimani 2015). Prior research indicates perceived disingenuity of marketing as a social function is a key driver of consumer frustration with marketer efforts to act as catalysts of social transformation (Heath et al. 2017; Kipnis et al. 2012; Scaraboto and Fischer 2013). Indeed, operating in multicultural marketplacess delivers two major challenges to marketers: pressure to return on investment despite restricted budgets (Forbes 2018; Sinkovics 2016); and an expectation to engage with and reflect the social agenda in the marketplace (Dadzie et al. 1989; Kennedy 2016, 2017). Yet, given growing consumer expectations to accurately reflect their often complex, multicultural realities (Cross and Gilly 2017) engaging with these challenges is necessary for marketing to maintain relevance with consumers.

We examine whether marketing outputs align with RN building strategies and lived realities of co-living in superdiverse SA, through a systematic review of SA marketing campaigns over 25 year period. Drawing on neo-institutional theory, we conceptualise three historical stages of this evolution whereby regulative, normative, and cultural cognitive components of intercultural relations assume different prominence. We offer a conceptual model to depict the interplay between the ideological and lived facets of intercultural relations in post-colonial SA. We propose that for marketers to continue serving as brokers between ideologies and lived experiences of nation-building a different concept of marketing – intercultural marketing – is necessary, contributes to development of multiculturally-sensitive marketing research.
TitelEnlightened Marketing in Challenging Times : Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
RedaktørerFelipe Pantoja, Shuang Wu, Nina Krey
Antal sider2
ForlagSpringer, Cham
ISBN (Trykt)978-3-030-42544-9
ISBN (Elektronisk)978-3-030-42545-6
StatusUdgivet - 2020
BegivenhedAMS World Marketing Congress 2019 - Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Storbritannien
Varighed: 9 jul. 201912 jul. 2019


KonferenceAMS World Marketing Congress 2019


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