By Darren Martin, Jr., Founder and CEO, Bold Culture“>

A Tick Toward Inclusion but Many Opportunities Are Missed

By Darren Martin, Jr., Founder and CEO, Bold Culture

Unfortunately, like every other year, 2024’s Big Game ads made us ask the same question, “where’s the diverse talent?” behind and on screen – and more importantly, does it feel authentic? This year felt the same and while some creatives combined culture, impact, and inclusion and sparked interest, most fell flat as just the same ol’. What is limiting more authentic approaches to diversity? Their creative teams. It is just as important to focus on filling lead roles behind the scenes with diverse talent, as it is in front of the camera. According to Ad Age, of the 49 directors directing Super Bowl commercials this year, only 10 are diverse. The other 39 were white men. How is it expected that these advertisements are developed in authentic ways when a majority of those leading the storytelling are not from diverse cultures? Thankfully, other ads provide a roadmap to success. Doritos featured older Latiné women at center stage in their spot. While their presence was coupled with notable Latiné celebrities, Jenna Ortega and Danny Ramirez, the abuelas were the most memorable in the spot and their presence was based on a true cultural insight of family and generational respect. Black women were at the center of at least three spots during the big game, much too less in our opinion. Quinta Brunson led Turbo Tax’s commercial throughout the night with her amazing charm, wit, and comedic flare. She is accompanied by Ice Spice for Pepsi’s Gen Z-leaning Starry brand and Beyoncè’s literal breaking of the internet–but not Verizon’s network–in a spot that also introduced a Country era, album and singles for the artist. The NFL took a global approach to their advertisement by featuring a Ghanaian child as their prominent talent, mostly featuring Ghanaian people and those across the Black diaspora. It gives a view into the vast cultural practices of a West African community as he races to a football field for practice. His dreams in his mind become a dream in reality in part thanks to the NFL efforts. Driving more authenticity, according to Ad Age,, the spot featured over 400 Ghanaian cast members. We give this ad an A. Google created one of the most impactful advertisements of the night, following a visually impaired man who falls in love. The ad shows the use of assistive technologies to capture moments through his and his love interest’s (a Black woman’s) growing relationship.

We’re charging the industry to do more throughout this year leading up to next year focusing on more people living with disabilities, queer and trans people and Black, Latine, Indigenous, Asian, and Pacific Islander communities. Learn more about Bold Culture’s inclusion marketing research and consulting services here.

By Darren Martin, Jr., Founder and CEO, Bold Culture, da****@bo*********.co

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