Two hands reaching out to each other, one black and one white, indicating diversity

Representation Matters: How Diversity Makes Advertising Stronger

In the last few years, issues surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion have become prominent talking points in our society. It’s also become a focal point for the advertising industry, as more agencies and businesses include some level of diverseness in their messaging. It simply makes one’s advertising efforts stronger. But, how?

As one of the top ad agencies in Arizona, ON Advertising is the go-to for quality services that put your business front and center of your competition. When you work with us, you’re not just receiving our creative minds and collective experience, you’re gaining a valuable partnership to increase ROI. Read our article below to learn why representation in advertising is important and how it makes your message stronger.

The Rise of Diversity and Inclusion

In case you’ve been living under a rock, there have been several movements in our society that are fighting for equality and representation. These movements have advocated for the rights and protections of specific members of our communities, regardless of their race, sexuality, religion, nationality, and economic status. 

But, what does this have to do with advertising? Well, everything. Advertising is more than just selling a brand to a target audience, it can change how we view companies, people, and societal norms. While the advertising industry has notoriously played a huge role in creating and reinforcing stereotypes in years past, it also has the power to lead the charge in positive change. 

Kantar says it best, “the very best creative cannot only sell products and build brand equity, but it can also change behaviors and shape society.”

But, What is Diversity’s Role in My Messaging?

Surely, you’ve heard the United States is a melting pot of cultures and identities. According to Pew Research, roughly 40% of the U.S. population is a racial or ethnic minority. Furthermore, the average age of those minority groups tends to be much younger than that of non-Hispanic whites. 

There is evidence to support that progressive and inclusive advertising improves ROI. Why? Because many consumers recognize its importance. It’s comparatively like the eco-friendly consumer movement that buys products from companies that emphasize sustainable operations. It makes them feel good that the brands they follow support a cause they resonate with. This bonds customers and companies in a common goal, resulting in stronger brand loyalty.

What Can My Company Do to Ensure Diversity is in My Advertising? 

If you’re working towards more diversity in your marketing efforts, good on you. It’s an admirable goal to strive for, but it’s also critical you get it right. Otherwise, your company’s message may be viewed as simply “woke-washing”. This term is used to describe companies that are only using diversity as a superficial lip service as opposed to an actual meaningful action. So, we recommend that you also look at your internal operations to make sure you’re practicing what you preach.

Some things to consider when it comes to diversity in messaging:

  • Understand Gender: In AdReaction’s ‘Getting Gender Right’ study, they found that ¾ of consumers believe the way they are portrayed in advertising is completely out of touch. They found women were being over targeted in ads for products like laundry and household products, while under targeted in areas like automotive. 
  • Gender and Race Inclusive: Looking at today’s advertising, you can take many approaches to how you portray race and gender. The two most common are: explicit and implicit. Explicit being that you’re promoting products specifically made by minority groups or showing direct support for advocacy groups and minority interests. Implicit advertising is simply just showing more diversity in the actors you choose to be in your ad, like including a black postal worker, a female CEO, or a Hispanic chef. 
  • Inclusivity Promotes Sales: Following the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, researchers found that inclusion contributes to long-term equity by positioning the brand as emotionally different. This results in short-term sales due to making one’s message impactful for customers. 

You (or the ad agency you partner with) must conduct extensive research into your market and examine how people engage with your brand. This will give you an idea of who exactly is buying your products and what they think of your current messaging. This will give you valuable insights into what your future messaging goals should be.

ON Advertising Can Push Your Branding to the Next Level

Diversity and inclusion in advertising should be more than just a marketing strategy, it should be a mirror image of our society as a whole. If your company is working towards a more inclusive image, it needs to start from within before you share it with the world. 
Once you get there, ON Advertising is the expert team to help highlight these actions and turn this mission into impactful messaging. Our strategic approach will expand your company’s personality and help highlight the image you wish to portray to the public. ON’s team of thinkers, creatives, and observers synergize their talents to develop a brand that works for you. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help your business shine.

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