Ads play a key role in shaping our society and culture, framing our perceptions of beauty, success, and happiness. However, these creative campaigns often have a deeper impact on society, and it’s important to recognize their role in shaping cultural norms and values. Over the years, ad campaigns have come under fire for their lack of diversity and representation, even though diverse advertising reflects our society and creates a sense of inclusion for audiences. When brands incorporate diverse representation in advertising, it reinforces positive cultural norms and inclusive values.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
Ignoring the importance of diversity in advertising can significantly impact a company’s bottom line, especially when considering the buying power of these underrepresented groups in the US. A 2021 report published via the University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth and Terry College of Business revealed that the buying power of Hispanic, African American, and Asian American groups is expected to increase to $7 trillion by 2025, presenting a significant opportunity for businesses to tap into a diverse consumer base.
A June 2020 survey by Statista showed that 42% of responding Americans want more racial diversity in advertising. Moreover, 55% of 18-34-year-olds, representing two key consumer groups (Millennials and Gen Z) whose buying power continues to grow, want to see more racial diversity in advertisements, compared to only 32% of 65+ year-olds. Promoting diversity and inclusivity is crucial, and brands will get left behind if they don’t engage these fast-growing audiences.
Give the Community What They Want
At Blavity Inc., diversity in advertising remains a priority. Simply put, companies prioritizing diversity have a competitive edge over those that do not. Today’s consumers demand more diversity and representation in the media they consume and support. Ads featuring people from different backgrounds, cultures, and abilities positively impact sales and brand perception. Consumers are looking for brands that reflect their values and celebrate diversity, and companies that fail to do so risk losing customers and revenue.
Lead by Example
Moreover, diversity in advertising can promote social change and challenge stereotypes. Advertising has the power to shape our views of ourselves and our communities, and when done right, it can break down barriers and foster inclusivity. For example, campaigns that feature LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, or women in positions of power can challenge the norms and promote acceptance. A 2021 study conducted via Facebook revealed that online campaigns with more diverse representation had higher ad recall in 90% of the simulations they ran. The study also reported that roughly 59% of consumers said they are more loyal to and prefer to buy from brands that represent diversity and inclusion in online advertising.
The data confirms that companies that adopt diversity in advertising can cultivate greater innovation and even greater returns. A business that prioritizes diversity and inclusivity in its advertising and hiring practices is more likely to attract and retain diverse teams, yielding diverse perspectives, experiences, and skills that drive innovation and creativity.
At Blavity Inc., diversity and inclusion are prioritized in all aspects of our work. Promoting diversity is the right thing to do and a key factor in creating successful campaigns that resonate with audiences. Incorporating diverse voices and creating opportunities for underrepresented communities can positively impact society, shape cultural norms, eliminate bias, and promote acceptance. We encourage you to join the important mission of making the advertising industry more diverse and inclusive.