This introduction into group dynamics and leadership also helped Montes to realize how important it is for Black men and women to have a presence in the advertising and marketing industry. “Black Americans currently have $1.1 trillion in buying power and we are some of the globe’s most influential consumers,” says Montes. When it comes to technology we’re early adopters—we over index on social media platforms such as Twitter, Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat. When it comes to popular culture, we’re innovators and brands consistently look to align themselves with the cool without understanding our culture, values, or issues. “As long as Black marketers are absent from the conversation, brands will continue to misrepresent and overlook us while taking advantage of our influence and tastes.”
This is an interesting time in the industry. Technology and how we interact with technology has led to a lot of new changes. The growth of mobile, and the rebirth of direct marketing through email and content marketing has undoubtedly changed the landscape of advertising. There is one trend in particular that Montes hopes to see develop. “Improvements in digital advertising is important for us to move forward. Digital advertising is very effective, but for consumers it can be very annoying. Online advertising hasn’t evolved much since the first banner ad appeared in 1998. If we’re going to bombard consumers with ads as they surf the web, we owe them something better than stale ads.”
Conversations about race have resurfaced thanks to current events and the proliferation of these conversations from the Internet. We are in a space where championing men of color and sharing their narratives need to be highlighted. “What’s great about the current state is our ability to control our own narrative and champion one another,” Montes tells BE Modern Man. “Thanks to digital tools like Twitter, Instagram, and blogging platforms we’re able to change the conversation and create content to tell our stories. I’m a swimmer, an Eagle Scout, I’m multilingual, and I have been a yoga instructor for over a year. None of this aligns with the media’s archetype of Black men.”
Montes provides evidence that African-Americans are not homogenous and that our interests, talents, and skills expand far beyond the typical assignments of mainstream media. “To me, a BE Modern Man is an innovator,” says Montes. “They are not afraid to go against the grain or go into unchartered territory. They’re working to shift the culture forward. Change cannot happen in the absence of learning, so a BE Modern Man is curious and always looking for new ways to learn. Finally, a BE Modern Man is authentic, true to himself in all that he does, and will not compromise values or cut corners to achieve success.”
The BlackEnterprise.com team congratulates Alix Montes for his success in the advertising and space with the largest agency in the DC market. His ability to draw upon a diverse skill-set and background is why we are honored to call him a BE Modern Man. We look forward to seeing the impact Alix Montes makes on how brand advertising aligns with changing consumer habits.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan.