Advertising Expert Steve Stoute Says America Is “Tanning”

In a conversation with Soledad O’ Brien, the acclaimed entrepreneur encourages advertisers of tomorrow to create a new model that targets multiple ethnicities.

Posted: 08/05/2011 11:28 AM EDT

Is America Tanning?

 

According to Steve Stoute, who Mary J. Blige and Jay-Z call the “advertising guru,” yes, it is.

 

No, the country hasn't been sitting under a giant UV light, but Stoute says, in a new book coming out next month, that advertising is not the same.

 

In a conversation moderated by CNN’s Soledad O’Brien at NABJ’s National Convention, Stoute explains how Black culture has transformed a new generation, conquered the global market and has rewritten the rules of the new economy.

 

“African-American consumers are the best in the world,” Stoute says. “I wrote the book [The Tanning of America] for the generation of CEO’s that is resisting this movement.”

 

Stoute described some key “tanning moments,” or moments that defined America’s approval of the same activities and music, including Bill Clinton’s humanization of himself by playing the saxophone on the Arsenal Hall Show; Jay-Z collaborating with Lincoln Park and having the number-one selling album in Australia and New Zealand; and Justin Bieber doing the “dougie.”

 

Stoute calls children today “poly-ethnic” and says that if you’re trying to become a “loved” brand, you cannot target one ethnic group.  

 

“There is an evolution of all races coming together and enjoying the same things.”

 

He says that he wants college students to think “outside of the box,” not at what advertisers have done before, but about how to use new skills to market to the cultural desires of all Americans.

 

 

To share story ideas with Danielle Wright, follow and tweet her at @DaniWrightTV.

 

(Photo: Getty Images)

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