Q & A with Marina Filippelli, CEO, Orci

Drake Cooper
Oct 16 · 3 min read

The month of October is Hispanic Heritage Month (HHM) and, as a part of our ongoing effort to bring fresh insight and expertise into DEI and branding, we gathered to rap with a very special guest speaker and friend of the agency, Marina Filippelli. Marina, whose extensive background has been spent reaching diverse audiences for national brands, is the CEO of Orci — our multicultural agency partner in Los Angeles. Her talk included industry trends, data, and insights into her work as a Diversity and Inclusion champion, and CEO of a leading multi-segment agency.

Below are a few of the discussion points in her talk that we found incredibly useful when approaching HHM as humans and as advertisers.

An Ongoing Debate: Latinx vs. Hispanic

Citing multiple sources from TikTok influencers to Educators, Marina discussed the ever-changing landscape of terminology when it comes to group identities and the complexity of titles like Latinx and Hispanic. One takeaway for brands on the nuances of these terms is to lead with the voice of your brand.

“If it’s a formal brand, you can still feel ok about using formal language.”

And of course, when in doubt, she emphasized always asking clients and partners what their preference is.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month

So how can brands and companies show up for HHM? Marina went over some of the ways brands have had to learn the hard way on what NOT to do. Performative efforts often do more harm than good and consumers can “smell a fake effort from a mile away.” So, set actual marketing goals for your clients and then detail how you’ll achieve them. Finally, do something meaningful. Marina pointed out,

“People care more about what your brand is doing to support their community than the lip service you may find time to offer.”

The 2020 Census Implications

When trying to reach particular audiences through various marketing efforts, it’s important to know specifics on population numbers. Marina explained that due to COVID, door-to-door Census efforts were canceled, likely lessening its numbers while questions on the Census surrounding citizenship during a time of immigrant distrust, also may have contributed to undercounting people of color. So, while we’re seeing record numbers of multicultural population growth, Marina highlighted that discrepancy in the Census means these numbers are likely even higher.

Another interesting detail from Marina on the Census is the projection of Hispanic populations in the next few decades in the U.S. “Immigration has actually slowed and we’re seeing most of the growth coming from the U.S. born population which will have implications on a lot of things in terms of language use and media consumptions.”

A huge thank you to Marina Filippelli for joining us this month to speak to the agency about Hispanic Heritage Month and continuing to champion these DEI efforts in the work she does at Orci. You can follow Marina and her radness here.

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