May 30, 2020

The following is republished with the permission of the Association of National Advertisers. Find this and similar articles on ANA Newsstand.

The ANA’s SeeHer, in collaboration with Getty Images, released guidelines on how marketers can use inclusive imagery to achieve diversity in their advertising amid the COVID-19 pandemic, in which advertisers are reviewing and changing their messaging.

The guide, “Inclusive Visual Storytelling for Women,” was written by SeeHer member Getty Images in collaboration with SeeHer, the industry leading movement for gender equality in advertising, marketing and entertainment.

“A recent ANA survey revealed that more than 90 percent of respondents indicated they have adjusted their marketing messaging since mid-March, when COVID-19 was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization,” said SeeHer President, Nadine Karp McHugh.  “With so many marketers reviewing their advertising, this new guide will help remind them that gender and ethnic diversity needs to be included in their revised strategy and planning.”

Founded in 2016, SeeHer’s mission is to increase accurate portrayals of girls and women in marketing, advertising, media, and entertainment, with the original goal to reduce unconscious bias and authentic portrayals by 20 percent by 2020. The group surpassed that goal in late 2018 and expanded the mission to have 80 percent of measured media bias-free by 2030.

Recent research from Getty Images found that searches for “empowered woman” increased 138 percent, “girl power” by 133 percent, “real people” by 115 percent and “inclusion” by 126 percent year-over-year from 2018 to 2019.

“This boost is more proof that today’s consumers are increasingly diverse, and our ability to connect in a way that shows that we understand and respect them as dynamic, authentic individuals is more than socially responsible, it’s good for business,” the guide stated.  It also cited a 2019 study by Deloitte Digital’s Heat agency known as “The Value of Diversity in Advertising” which looked at ads for 50 brands from the Top 200 media spenders and saw that those brands with the most representative ads saw a 44 percent growth in their stock over the previous two years.

In the guide, advertisers are encouraged to consider a range of factors to make their visual storytelling and messaging more inclusive, including:

  • GENDER: Push for a broader sense of equality.
  • RACE AND ETHNICITY: Put women of color in focus.
  • SEXUAL ORIENTATION: Don’t just speak out, speak loudly.
  • BODY TYPE: Model a more realistic look.
  • ABILITY: Empower change with authenticity.
  • AGE: Shine on people throughout their journey.
  • RELIGION: Turn a complex subject into an opportunity to stand out.

To download guide CLICK HERE.



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