DEI (diversity, equity, & inclusion)

How Effective are Cause-Related Messages in Advertising Today?

  • CMO Brief

During the last five years, we have seen an upswing and change in the inclusion of values in advertising, especially the increase in cause-related marketing (CRM) which includes messages about societal goals such as sustainability, ESG (environmental, social and governance) and DEI (diversity, equity/equality and inclusion). Given marketers’ interest in these issues—ranging from wanting to express support for causes to being concerned about a possible backlash—the ARF has reviewed the research on cause-related marketing as well as related issues, such as ads with more general pro-social and altruistic messages. ARF researchers conclude that ads with cause-related messages can be effective, but many are not. Future research should focus on which kinds of messages are most effective among different consumer groups.

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Do Mobile Apps Lead to More Equitable Customer Service?

  • MSI

Is there bias in terms of remediating service complaints? Do customers in wealthier, more educated areas get their complaints resolved easier or more quickly? The researchers behind this Marketing Science Institute (MSI) working paper analyzed data from Boston’s 311 information system to find out. The paper finds that service complaints from highly educated census blocks are more likely to be resolved more quickly than those in less educated neighborhoods. However, mobile phone applications can reduce this gap by giving customers a standardized communication tool for filing complaints. Researchers used an instrumental variable approach to address endogeneity in mobile app use.

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How to Measure Trust in Brands

A new study indicates that most measures of brand trust are flawed because they are based on questionable assumptions about consumers’ understanding of “trust”.  Read more »

Breaking through the Blind Spots: How Marketers can be a Force for Good and Growth

  • By Megan O’Brien (Omnicom MediaGroup) Young Pros Board Member

On July 13, 2023, the ARF Young Pros gathered in New York City to examine the methodologies and insights that make for a better marketing experience. Industry leaders shared their unique perspectives to encourage attendees to reflect on society’s biases and blind spots more broadly, as well as how they echo through the media landscape.

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Cause-Related Ad Effectiveness

An analysis by the ARF concludes that ads with cause-related messages can be effective, but many are not. Future research should focus on which kinds of messages are most effective among different consumer groups. Read more »

Video Games, Livestreams, and Community: Understanding the Experiences of Diverse Gamers

On September 13, 2022, experts from Twitch, sparks & honey and MediaCom U.S. discussed the triumphs and challenges diverse communities in gaming are facing today. Although diversity in gaming has seen improvements in recent years, there is still work to be done. This event explored the role advertisers can play in making gaming and livestreaming even more inclusive. Panelists shared what brands can do to make a meaningful impact.

Inclusion by Design in Pharma Research and Marketing

This ARF Pharma Council event followed up on the Council’s podcast episode on “Inclusive Futures of Humancare,” focusing on the importance of inclusiveness in pharma research and marketing with respect to both demographic characteristics and health conditions.  Four speakers delivered brief presentations, followed by a discussion moderated by Pharma Council Co-Chair Marjorie Reedy of Merck.

MODERATED TRACK DISCUSSIONS: Cross-Platform: Measurement & Identity

Moderator Jorge (TikTok) asked the panelists three key questions:

  • The pros and cons of using mobile phones as meters in a time of such strong privacy concerns;
  • The panelists’ views on measurement of advertising effectiveness; and
  • The most unexpected feedback they received.


Andrea Zapata (WarnerMedia) moderated this track discussion for day two’s Television Disrupted. Andrea noted that there are a lot of disruptions, a lot of white spaces out there, and that we need alternative solutions to lean into. She asked each speaker about the background of their respective studies and research approaches.