At the core of advertising is the human element. In order to reflect a wide range of individuals, advertising must honor the diversity of the world around us. This is not new information, but it has never been more important than it is right now.
We are finally moving toward a world where people can be accepted and respected for who they are, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, religion, or abilities. Advertising can encourage diversity to not only be accepted, but expected in our society. People want the brands they use and love to be socially responsible, morally ethical, and altogether trustworthy. If we are truly going to change the industry we love, we need to look at DEI in all aspects of our advertising—here are four reasons why brands need to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion in their advertising.
- Diverse Advertisers Get Two Thumbs Up
Perhaps the most obvious benefit is also the simplest: people prefer advertisers that prioritize diversity. Our survey found that some people favor brands with representative advertising. Some people will go as far as to completely disassociate from ads that fall short, with more than a third (36%) going as far as to boycott a brand because of issues with diversity and representation in their marketing. Conversely, 50% of respondents said that if an advert is diverse and representative, it’s more likely that they will recommend the product or service to their friends and family members.
- Younger Audiences Care
Those under age 55 are almost twice as likely to recognize the importance of reaching a diverse audience, and are also far more likely to boycott a brand due to issues with representation. Those aged 25 to 44 are the most likely to purchase from a brand that upholds these standards and given that group makes up a huge percentage of the active, purchasing audience, it’s vital to hear their voices on these important issues.
- Ads Featuring Diverse People Perform Better
Diversity yields stronger marketing results than any other media, and this was found to be true across all demographics. In our research, we found that people who are more responsive to advertising are also those more likely to feel that promoting DEI is important. Diverse ads allow everyone to feel included in the messaging and allow brands to achieve better outcomes.
- If You Aren’t Ahead, You’re Behind
Over the last few years, organization have come to recognize the true importance and value of diversity in advertising. More than 90% of the advertisers we surveyed said that reducing bias and discrimination in marketing and advertising is now a priority, with 44% saying it’s a core focus, and 49% at least a secondary focus. People are demanding real change and action, and if your brand hasn’t seen the light yet on this topic, then it’s time to start now.