Dr. Anastasia Kārkliņa Gabriel is a cultural theorist, writer, social critic, and strategist specializing in inclusivity within marketing, media, and tech. Currently a senior insights lead at Reddit, she earned her doctorate in cultural studies from Duke University and has consulted for the world’s top brands, including Nike, Samsung, Disney, Ulta Beauty, and AMEX, at agencies like Wieden+Kennedy, Dentsu Creative, and McCann, among others. A lifelong activist, Dr. Gabriel helps brands ignite cultural innovation and leverage the power of media for good. Her insights have been featured in the American Marketing Association (AMA), the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), WARC, Advertising Week, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, and Teen Vogue. She is the author of Cultural Intelligence for Marketers published by Kogan Page in March 2024.

We’re talking with Dr. Gabriel about the power of cultural intelligence in marketing on this week’s episode. We discuss the importance of understanding cultural trends to engage consumers authentically and navigate the complex landscape of consumer culture. Dr. Gabriel shares her journey from activism to brand strategy, showing how her unique perspective enhances brand relevance. We examine frameworks for cultural intelligence, the role of inclusivity in advertising, and the measurable impacts on both business and societal connectivity. We’ll also touch upon the role of AI in advertising and the importance of fostering diversity within marketing teams.

Topics covered during this episode include:

  • Why understanding cultural trends is critical for influencing consumer behavior and brand authenticity.
  • How Dr. Gabriel’s academic and activism background offers a unique perspective in applying cultural studies to marketing.
  • How marketing agencies can navigate cultural landscapes by developing frameworks of cultural intelligence.
  • Why distinguishing between fast and slow cultural trends is necessary for brand alignment.
  • How brands can engage with “moments, movements, and mindsets” to resonate with consumers.
  • Why brands must balance cultural relevance with their core values, avoiding silence on significant movements.
  • How inclusive advertising impacts both commercial success and societal connectivity.
  • Why empirical evidence is vital in guiding inclusive marketing practices for brand trust.
  • How to measure cultural intelligence using traditional metrics and perception over time.
  • Why it’s important to understand advertising impact on underrepresented groups using the three Rs: representative, responsible, resonant.
  • How AI in advertising poses challenges with potential biases in training data.
  • Why marketing teams should enhance diversity and inclusivity within their strategies.
  • How agencies can advise brands on meaningful movements without fear of cultural missteps.

Dr. Anastasia Kārkliņa Gabriel on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/anastasiakgabriel/