Why is Diversity Important in Advertising?

Diversity and inclusion are key industry topics right now in advertising. More than ever before, consumers are better informed, and they have more available choices. Data we are seeing states that 69% of consumers want brands to support diverse causes.  This generation cares deeply about diversity and diverse representation in advertising, and their purchases reflect that.

Diversity is important in advertising because media should more accurately reflect the American consumer population and because consumers are more likely to buy something from a company that commits to diversity.

The World Is Changing

If you only experienced the United States through its commercials and ads, you might get the impression we are composed of a nearly homogenous population. While things are greatly improving, there is still room for highlighting diverse voices. 

In fact, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that only 57.8% of the population identified as white alone on the 2020 census. That is barely more than half of the population, indicating that the remaining 42.2% is racially diverse. 

Despite our extremely multicultural population, an article from Forbes reported that “only 26% of African-Americans, 10% of Hispanics and 3% of Asians feel represented in advertising.” 

Part of this may be because 85.4% of the ad industry is white and are simply reflecting their own experiences and subconscious biases in the ads they create. Whatever the cause, this is an issue that needs to change. It is time for advertising to reflect the reality of the beautiful, diverse world we live in. 

Consumers See Themselves

Another reason why diversity is important in advertising is that it allows consumers to see themselves within an ad campaign. Rather than merely sympathize with the actors in a commercial, when consumers see people who look and act like them, that shared experience translates to something stronger: empathy. 

Consumers will be able to make a deeper connection to your advertisement—and to your brand—when they feel seen and understood. On the other hand, when consumers feel they are consistently left out, underrepresented, or misrepresented, it can create negative feelings about you and your company. 

Failure to represent diversity in your advertising may even send a message to your consumers that you only value the business of certain groups. Making a conscious effort to include diversity does not need to be an act of tokenism; rather, it can demonstrate a commitment to equality and fairness within your brand. 

Diversity Is the Future

Perhaps the most compelling reason for companies to demonstrate diversity in their advertising is the increase in consumerism they may experience. Research from Google found that “people are more likely to consider or even purchase a product after seeing an ad they consider to be diverse or inclusive.” 

This was true among all the groups they surveyed, with some ethnic groups such as Black and Latinx reporting even higher percentages than the average. In other words, media diversity is important not just because it makes consumers feel good but because it also translates to more sales for companies. 

An even more sobering fact that shows why diversity matters in marketing is that in a survey of over 1,000 U.S. adults, slightly more than one-third reported ceasing to buy from a brand they felt did not reflect them in their advertising. When consumers feel that companies do not make an effort to include them in their marketing, they do not develop a feeling of brand loyalty. 

Channel Factory Supports Diversity in Advertising

Diversity and inclusion in marketing are important because consumers want to be seen and understood by the companies whose products they purchase. They want to feel as though they matter. When industries succeed at respectfully incorporating diversity into their advertising, they send a message to their consumers that they are heard and valued. 

We support diversity in advertising. We believe it’s the future and the right thing to do. 

To learn more about the future of advertising and doing the right thing by your audience, contact us today