Individuals are regularly bombarded with hours and hours of content. Within recent years, there has been a concerted effort in creating content that is more inclusive than ever before. After all, the audience consuming media come from different walks of life. Target audiences are filled with people of different races, nationalities, genders, religions, sexual orientations, and more. It would make sense that audiences and consumers have begun expressing their desire to see more diversity in their content. This urge to see diverse content also extends to advertising.
Every day, countless ads are released by various agencies in several different markets. While their main goal is to engage with an audience and persuade them to make a purchase from or do business with a specific brand, there is also a deeper purpose behind them. Advertisements have the power to shape and influence societal values due to the sheer number of ads the world is exposed to daily.
Ads offer viewers a glimpse of a version of the world, and they impose a different value on groups of people. These values hold quite an influence over what their audience believes and how they view the world. With that in mind, this explains why diversity and inclusivity are so important when it comes to advertising. In fact, being more inclusive in your content and messaging has even proven to benefit your ads.
Your business should be taking the initiative when it comes to diversity in your advertising. Being a premier digital advertiser in DFW, ARYU Advertising understands the importance of diversity when it comes to advertising. Today, we plan on shinning some light on the subject.
Geena Davis Institute & Google Study
Geena Davis launched the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media in 2004 after recognizing that no available research on gender representation in children’s media existed. The goal of this organization is to directly work with creators to improve on-screen gender representation. In its latest report published in 2019, the institute partnered with Google to use technology to accurately measure representation in multimedia content. Through this study, researchers hoped to help marketers create advertising content using data and tools to be more inclusive.
The institute recognized that gender parity was absent in all forms of media, including film, television, news, gaming, music, publishing, and advertising. Each day, audiences are showered with thousands of new ads. Advertisements are vastly influential in shaping societal values, so it stands to reason why having more inclusivity in this content would be so important.
The study analyzed over 2.7 million videos uploaded to YouTube from advertisers from January 1, 2015, to March 31, 2019. Following this, they accounted for over 550 billion views through May 31, 2019, to develop a clear understanding of what was being watched in 51 markets, looking for who was being watched and how often.
After analyzing millions of ads on YouTube, they found that 56% of characters were male, while 44% were female. However, they also discovered that ads that were led by women or were gender-balanced received 30% more views than other videos, thus proving that viewers are interested and want more inclusivity in their advertising content.
However, women still only had 44% of screen time. Additionally, male characters had 1.5 times more speaking time than women (60% to 40%). There is still quite a large gender bias in all forms of media, not just in advertising. Roughly 85% of women believe the worlds of “film and advertising need to catch up to the real world when depicting women.” And as the evidence shows, it may prove beneficial to advertisers.
More Diversity Statistics
Geena Davis and her organization are not the only ones working towards pushing inclusivity in advertising. Countless organizations are fighting for diversity across several forms of media. Because audiences are bombarded with thousands of ads each day, advertising has become an area where many groups are focusing.
In August 2019, the Female Quotient teamed up with Ipsos and Google to survey almost 3,000 consumers in the U.S., all coming from differing backgrounds. The goal was to gain a better understanding of how the world viewed diverse or inclusive ads. Researchers asked participants what they believed brands should place importance on “to be conscious of in order to be inclusive and diverse in their ad campaigns.” These concepts included:
- Gender Identity
- Body Type
- Sexual Orientation
- Skin tone
- Religious/spiritual affiliation
- Physical ability
- Socioeconomic status
- Overall appearance
Much like how women have expressed their desire to see more gender parity in advertising, the LGBTQ and black communities also expressed strong sentiments when it came to inclusivity and diversity.
As ads that were women-led or gender-balanced garnered more views, ads that were diverse in other areas also proved successful. Including diversity in your advertising can boost their overall performance and, in turn, your traffic and business. The results of the Female Quotient’s survey are quite telling.
- 69% of black consumers expressed they are more likely to purchase from a brand whose ad reflected their race/ethnicity
- 71% of LGBTQ consumers are more likely to interact with a brand that posted ads that “authentically represents their sexual orientation”
- 64% of consumers admitted to taking some action if they viewed an ad they deemed as diverse or inclusive
- 65% of black consumers are more likely to recommend a brand that they view positively represents their culture
- 71% of LGBTQ consumers are more likely to trust a brand that authentically reflects diverse sexual orientations in their advertising
- 66% of black consumers are more likely to come back to a brand if that brand authentically reflects their race/ethnicity
When you are inclusive in your advertising and authentically add diversity to your ads, you are not only able to reach and connect with a wider audience, but you can also develop stronger bonds and boost customer loyalty. Consumers are more likely to interact with your brand and recommend them to their friends and families. Your business must take initiative when it comes to including diversity in your advertising. ARYU Advertising is a premier digital advertising firm in DFW, and we are prepared to help advertise your brand the best way.