Is Your Brand Pursuing Diversity In Media?
In today's marketing world we've become a patchwork multi-cultural quilt of diverse ethnicities from cultures from all over the world. This can be very difficult for many brands to master how to market and appeal to such a vast array of backgrounds.
While America of today has truly become a massive melting pot - with different languages, skin color, religious backgrounds and even political beliefs, advertising cannot be myopically targeted in broad-strokes, as different ethnic identities require a more customized approach. In this blog, Hollywood Branded discusses the importance of brand diversity in film and TV, and why your brand needs to ensure marketing and advertising efforts are maximized to include all.
Recognizing The Lack of Diversity
I remember growing up in a suburb of Vancouver, BC in the late 70’s and early 80’s, and we were the only East Indian family on the block. This was really not a culture shock for me since I was born and raised in Canada, and all I ever knew was that I did not see white, black or brown … I saw people going places and doing normal stuff on a daily basis in a diverse country.
This was the same when I was in the comfort of my home watching TV, and all the content I consumed was just entertainment and commercials with brands trying to get the attention of anyone watching that targeted one race, human beings.
When I was starting high school, my perception of diversity and culture started to shift. There was more and more immigration happening every year, kids in my school were changing every day to a more diverse environment and teachers in class were trying their hardest to adapt to the growing diverse student body and the families they came from. It was then when I started noticing that every piece of advertising I consumed was not changing the way that my real life was changing. On TV, I saw white moms cleaning dishes, white dads drinking beer and white kids playing with the same toys that we had in our house … but I was left with one thought to ponder. Why was my family not portrayed on TV? It was then that I recognized the lack of diversity in the media - including TV commercials, series and feature films.
Let’s fast forward to today’s complex, saturated world of content that is now in everyone’s home and in everyone’s hands without restriction. There is an incredible and obvious shift in the dynamic and landscape of how we consume our content and how brands are trying to get in front of everyone watching their favorite piece of entertainment.
There are now movies, TV scripted series, talk shows, reality shows, social media platforms, streaming video on demand platforms available to watch on any viewing platform across your TV, computer tablet or mobile device. All available at the leisure and convenience of when we decide to watch what we want, when we want and how we want. And there is still a question of diversity and how brands understand what content to partner with, who to cast in commercials and how to target the right person at the right time with the right message.
There is the obvious shift from traditional media to the digital world, and this has brought on its own set of challenges and issues within privacy, brand safety and the rights of a consumer. But more importantly, it has fractured the way that a brand can be in front of the right audience that might be interested in a product or service in the market.
All statistics are pointing in the direction of the country becoming more diverse every day - and a multi-cultural majority will exist within the next 25-30 years. But are brands doing enough to ensure the loyalty of their targeted consumer? It is incredibly important for brands to not only embrace this rapid change in diversity, but understand that it goes beyond the color of our skin.
What Brands Need To Do
Since we are now pretty much fast forwarding through all our traditional TV commercials, skipping our pre-roll advertising and essentially not consuming commercial driven content when the goal of brands is to have us actually watch their ads, it is even more crucial for these brands to connect with each consumer as individuals directly IN and THROUGH the content that is being consumed on a daily basis.
This includes more diverse casting in acting roles, more brands doing product placement and branded content within content that is multi-cultural, and creating integrated storylines within scripts. Plus creating extensions to these on screen moments through digital and social media to continue the brand messaging to build more awareness and loyalty.
Brands that do take the initial lead in cultural diversity when done properly will see a significant increase in interaction, conversion, perception and engagement. And of course there are also the added benefit of financial gains within a company stock, creating more interest for investment opportunities and overall brand growth and sales.
Why Ensuring Diversity In Advertising & Marketing Matters
When a person can see themselves within a certain piece of branded content, the likelihood of consumer response and conversion increases over 50% and up to 70% when strategically re-targeted. Diversity and inclusion are the direction of the marketing mindset going forward, so it is important for consumers and brands to embrace the bold changes that we have seen in content in recent years.
Kids today are definitely not what I remember them to be when I was their age, and brands from my youth have definitely changed as well. Politics has also created a great divide in recent years, so it is a great time for brands to become leaders through strategic content.
The only logical message for brands to really implore is one of unity, diversity and change and to address the real issues that will affect their futures of tomorrow.
Want To Learn More?
Want to check out some similar marketing choices that helped brands resonate better with their key demo? Check out these other blog posts we've written...
- Representation Of Diversity In Hollywood Casting
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- Brands That Invest In LBGTQ Pride
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