Improving Engagement with the Indian American Community


Published December 4, 2021

Multicultural audience are on a rise in the US. The U.S. Multicultural Media Forecast 2019 report indicates that multicultural consumers comprise almost 40% of the total population, but the multicultural media investments account for only 5.2% of total spend. In 2018, only $722 million of the total $25.9 billion was directed toward reaching the Asian American audience, as the majority of the focus was on the Hispanic and African-American diaspora. This probably stems from the insufficient understanding and knowledge of channels that help the marketers in the U.S. in reaching the Asian American audience.

Among all multicultural audience, Indian Americans are one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the U.S. In 2017, Indians constituted over 80% of the total South Asian population in the country. Taking inputs from the 3AF Asian American Media Consumption Study and based on our experience, here are a few recommendations on how best to increase engagement with the Indian American diaspora:

  • The 3AF report states that 43% of all Indian Americans and 48% of 1st generation Indian Americans engage better with in-culture ads. In addition, the report findings state that 51% of Indian Americans prefer in-language ads to English-based ads. This number is higher (60%) for foreign-born Indians living in the US. Finally, 45% of Indian Americans indicated that they are more likely to pay attention to ads featuring people or celebrities of Indian/Asian origin.
  • From a cultural standpoint, it is important to note that India should really be seen as a Western Europe or South- East Asia that is bonded by a strong sense of National Identity. Therefore, while advertising to the Indian American community, there will be areas of cultural commonality and divergence. It is important to understand these nuances and create custom messages relevant to each cultural community. In order to do so, we would recommend reaching the appropriate sub-audience through the correct set of publishers and channels.
  • Since different parts of India speak different languages and have different customs and festivals, publishers catering to those who originate from these parts of India can be leveraged to drive messaging that is relevant. (Bear in mind that there are 22 official languages in India, and hundreds of dialects!) In addition, powerful tools like Connected TV and Programmatic Audio can help with more specific targeting options that also help cut through the clutter.
  • Finally, we would recommend that in-language ads have to be tailored to the audience’s appropriate place of origin in India. Showing a Hindi language ad to someone who hails from Tamil Nadu would be akin to showing a Vietnamese ad to a Filipino or a French ad to a Spaniard!

As a multicultural partner with deep expertise in the South Asian and South East Asian markets, Datawrkz can help you reach the most relevant audience using the right channels with the right messaging. We work with over 200 National and Regional publishers across the region  and can map your multicultural campaign to the correct subset of audiences. Read more about our other recommendations for multicultural agencies on advantages of keeping Indian Regional publishers in media planning and taking advantage of Cricket to reach Indian Americans. You can also reach out to us at to know more.

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