Inclusive Advertising Essentials

From campaigns featuring various skin and body types to ads boasting families that expand a comprehensive definition of family, inclusive advertising reshapes a brand’s marketing strategies to ensure an adequate representation of its consumer base.

But without adequate knowledge of inclusive advertising, brands face difficulties incorporating the trend within their marketing strategy. Luckily, inclusive advertising isn’t all that challenging, and it offers a plethora of benefits to marketers! Let’s take a look at what inclusive advertising is and why it’s so crucial in today’s industry:

What is Inclusive Advertising?

Inclusive advertising refers to campaigns that don’t target one demographic. Instead, these brands embrace diversity by going beyond traditional stereotypes to reflect groups in the real world. 

These brands use inclusive messaging, ads, processes, and technologies to foster a deep connection with marginalized or underrepresented prospects.  

Inclusive Advertising vs. Diversity and Inclusion 

Inclusive advertising is often confused with Diversity and Inclusion. But here’s the thing: these are two completely different things.

Diversity and Inclusion describe initiatives your HR or dedicated D&I team focuses on implementing within the workplace. It helps promote an inclusive and tolerant workplace where all workers receive equal treatment regardless of their religious, sexual, gender, or racial differences. 

On the flip side, inclusive advertising is more than boasting diversity in your marketing strategies or within the workplace. It’s about curating campaigns that resonate with multiple perspectives across the globe. Inclusive brands focus on embracing human values such as family, love, enduring stories about the underdog overcoming roadblocks, and so on.

As a result, inclusive marketing carefully considers their products, services, and website experience to ensure they allow diverse groups to feel seen and understood. It, in turn, generates long-term loyalty and brand growth. 

Does Inclusive Advertising Drive Brand Loyalty?

Experts believe that Generation Z is one of the most influential audiences in the current market. Not to mention, Gen Z accounts for more than 40% of all customers and is the most ethnically and racially diverse generation

So, what are the core values of this influential generation? Expert research shows:

  • 76% of Gen Z is more likely to support brands that feature authenticity in their advertisements.
  • 70% of the Gen Z audience trusts brands boasting appropriate representation of diversity in ads.
  • 49% of Gen Z stopped engaging with brands that didn’t represent their values.

These statistics all point in one direction, i.e., inclusivity is the new norm in marketing, and brands need to alter their marketing strategies to cater to the needs of emerging prospects. Therefore, in today’s market, the lack of inclusive advertisement results in a lower customer retention rate.

However, to succeed in today’s industry, brands need to match their marketing strategies with marketing trends that are important to consumers. Thus, your brand needs to introduce inclusive campaigns like offering stellar media coverage on subjects discussing sexualities, gender, religion, races, ethnicities, alongside representation for people with mental, physical, and learning abilities to cultivate a genuine relationship with customers.

Ultimately, you’ll notice a greater degree of brand loyalty, visibility, and awareness among prospects and current consumers. It means that diversity and inclusion in advertising help expedite revenue.  

Brands that Got Inclusive Advertising Right

Before you start mapping out your inclusive marketing strategy, it’s a good idea to check out how different businesses are meeting an inclusive audience’s needs. Let’s take a look at top brands that created inclusive advertisements that captivated a broader, more diverse audience:   

National fatherhood initiative

Diminishing the stereotypes surrounding black fathers is a long-standing task business, and individuals have failed to complete. However, the National Fatherhood Initiative does its part to challenge those stereotypes through the authentic and wholesome commercial linked above. 

Boasting the right amount of cuteness with humor and passing on an important message sets a perfect example of inclusive advertising.  

Nikon

Nikon features gay dads Kordale and Kaleb as part of their ‘I Am Generation’ campaign. 

Right after the couple’s picture of doing their daughter’s hair went viral on Instagram, Nikon requested the two to be a part of their advertisement. They reference the picture alongside revealing what a family means to them.

Airbnb

The famous American vacation rental company advertises inclusivity without being too over the top. Featuring a broader meaning of the word ‘family,’ the brand features gay couples and subtly includes a diverse cast to ensure the ad is adequately represented genuinely.

How to Start Inclusive Advertising

For centuries society has painted racially, ethnically, sexually, gender, and religiously diverse people with opposing characters. Unfortunately, today we see that Black, Brown, Latino, and Hispanic minorities are subjected to derogatory and offensive terms. In fact, 66% of African-Americans and 53% of Latinos and Hispanics feel that advertisements negatively portray their ethnicity.

To challenge stereotypes around diverse people, brands need to take a step to curate inclusive ads. Research shows that 61% of Americans find diversity in ads critical. So, how do brands achieve that? The answer is simple:

Accommodate Diversity

Start creating a successful ad by identifying the target audience and the problems they face. Ask yourself, “What issues do these underrepresented groups face when seeking products/services?” and “Do brands adequately represent different sizes, colors, sexualities, gender orientations, ethnicities, and religious beliefs?”

Once you pinpoint potential areas that lack proper representation of your consumers, it’s time to contemplate ways to solve that problem via your campaigns. You may curate enticing advertisements or introduce engaging visual content that aligns with inclusive marketing practices.

Apart from this, brands can include real stories to add an element of humanity to their brand. The heartwarming narrative brands introduce through personal stories ends up sticking in your subconscious, which, in turn, drives them to purchase from the brand. 

Show Sensitivity 

An in-depth survey shows that 69% of Black consumers are more likely to engage with brands whose campaigns reflect their race in a positive manner. Other research boasts that 26% of millennials identify as LGBT+ and that their buying power is about $3.6 trillion.

To craft an effective inclusive marketing strategy, brands need to know how multiple cultures and diverse audiences will interpret their message.  You want your audience to be able to associate and connect with your brand.

Be Authentic 

Research says that 89% of Gen Z prefers purchasing from a company that supports social and environmental issues. But here’s the thing: if brands want to captivate their Gen Z customer base, they need to be honest and authentic in the advertisements. 

In case your advertising comes off as derogatory, or if the brand exploits characteristics of diverse cultures to establish their brand, they will likely stop engaging with your brand. Which, in turn, leads to a lower retention rate and, ultimately, ROI.

The Takeaway

Diversity and inclusivity are both critical and need to become the new norm in the industry. However, brands can’t incorporate these values within their industry only through pictures, blogs, or checklists. Instead, they need to acknowledge and embrace diverse cultures. Brands need to do their part in valuing the inclusion of diverse voices in marketing strategies. By adding inclusive values, a business can grow engagement rates while working towards creating a better industry.

Start integrating inclusive advertising in your marketing strategy today by learning more about diversity and inclusivity. Learn how to successfully make your marketing inclusive with the help of a dedicated and skilled marketing crew. Connect with VSSL today and learn to make your brand’s mission create a more inclusive and representative world.