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How Do Consumers Respond to Ads that Mix Black and White Actors?

  • JOURNAL OF ADVERTISING RESEARCH

Many companies and brands increasingly incorporate racially diverse actors, often mixing Blacks and Caucasians in their advertising, yet not much is known about its effectiveness. New research explores how actor race and social tie strength—essentially the potency of the bond between the two actors—translate into consumer responses, with indirect effects on purchase intention.

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Concurrent Track Panel Discussion: Diversity in Advertising

The ARF’s Jay Mattlin brought together the presenters from Day Two’s Diversity in Advertising track to expand on the common themes and findings from their individual studies. The panel agreed that, in communicating to diverse audiences, mere representational casting or presence in ads and content was not enough. Creative that resonates with multicultural audiences needs to incorporate elements of empowerment, appear in representative programs, and show underrepresented groups in positive, non-stereotypical ways. The following are edited highlights from the panel discussion.

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  • Article

Inclusive Content is Good for Business

Charlene Polite CorleyVP Diverse Insights & Partnerships, Nielsen

Key Takeaways

  • Nielsen research found that 41% of viewers were more likely to buy from brands that advertised in content that represented them.
  • Less than a third of today’s programs represent women at population parity. Women are more than half of the population yet women are represented at 43% of share of screen time in lead or recurring roles on TV.
  • Viewers were 3x as likely to see a man over age 50 than a woman in the same age group on screen.
  • South Asian women’s share of screen time was just .3% last season—a fraction of their 2.3% population estimate.
  • Certain populations are missing and erased altogether—Native American women had zero representation in 86% of TV programming genres, including formats like national news.
  • On average a third of women feel how they are depicted on screen is inaccurate.

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  • Article

Path Forward: Identity, Representation & Authenticity

NBCUniversal and Magid partnered to determine how diverse consumers self-identify and how that informed their life experiences in relation to representation and authenticity, particularly in their brand and content choices. Research from clients, consumers and field surveys showed that, while multi-cultural audiences are multi-faceted, they are connected by common threads from shared cultural pillars, shared success and struggle, a sense of community and the straddling of two worlds. These findings led the team to a framework for “ideal representation” as a hierarchy of four distinct levels that define what consumers consider most important in being authentic.

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  • Article

Diverse Reactions: Getting Diversity and Inclusion Right in Advertising

Deepak VarmaHead of Neuroscience Insights – NA, SE Asia & Pacific, The Kantar Group

Key Takeaways

  • The majority (68%) of consumers agreed that ads with diverse characters show an authentic reflection of society, and the feeling is stronger among people of color.
  • Not promoting diversity could hurt brands but promoting it will not alienate other consumers. Just showing under-represented groups has no impact on the ad’s ability to build brand equity or increase short-term sales.
  • Showing under-represented groups positively–in progressive, non-stereotypical ways–can dramatically accelerate sales lift and long-term brand equity.
  • Illustrate the brand message by celebrating culture and focus on the identity of the under-represented.

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  • Article

How You Can Get Involved with ARF WIDE

ARF WIDE is working to create pathways for talented college students with an interest in research and insights who come with lived experiences and perspectives not currently well-represented in the industry. Our goal is to help build a diverse talent pipeline that represents today’s consumer, filled with those who understand varying cultural backgrounds and are able to connect with them through their own experiences and ultimately be more effective at generating new research insights and outcomes. ARF Members can help make this goal a reality by helping in various ways:

  • Make a donation - financial contributions to ARF WIDE are fully tax-deductible
  • Provide an introduction to CSR and/or DEI contacts within your organizations
  • Help promote WIDE to colleagues within the industry
  • Become a WIDE Mentor
  • Encourage ARF Young Pros within your organization to become a WIDE Young Pro Coach
  • Host an intern
Learn more about WIDE from our scholars. To get involved, please email wide@thearf.org

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Contending with Algorithmic Bias

  • Cultural Effectiveness Council

On March 16, 2022, the ARF Cultural Effectiveness Council hosted a discussion on bias in the algorithms and models used by organizations, particularly those in advertising and marketing, to make selection or recommendation decisions.  Speakers from Publicis Media, Twitter, Wunderman Thompson, Cassandra, and the University of Southern California shed light on why this issue arises, what its effects can be and how to contend with it.  The session was moderated by Council Co-Chair Janelle James of Ipsos.

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  • Article

NYCU: Univision Wants Representative Measurement

The Spanish-language TV network is focused on the shortfalls of different measurement companies when it comes to capturing its audience. “One of the challenges – or opportunities – for many of the new measurement companies is representation. That comes into light at Univision because we represent such a strong presence of the Hispanic community,” said Brian Lin, Univision’s SVP of product management and advanced advertising sales.  Lin spoke with AdExchanger about Univision’s goals to make its TV advertising more measurable to marketers:

  • Do you expect any challenges implementing these new insights? We want to make sure that any new measurement companies we partner with have very solid representation (in addition to) solid methodology. This goes into a lot of the work we’re doing aggregating our first-party data and partnering with different data providers to compose our household graph … (and) solidify that representation of the Hispanic community.
  • What else has Univision been building over the past year? A lot has been happening for Univision this past year, from Google’s investments in Univision (via a deal that spanned Google Cloud and YouTube) to our new leadership coming onboard (to build out our) household graph.
  • What’s on the horizon for 2022? Driving better ad effectiveness through interactivity might come in the form of new ad formats and (even) new partnerships. We’re also focused on precision. (We want to) utilize our programmatic insights to ensure the right message shows up at the right place in front of the right consumers that are interested in those advertisers. Maximizing ROI for our clients might come in the form of addressable TV, dynamic ad insertion, CTV targeting (or) first-party data onboarding.
Univision is looking into measurement alternatives, from aggregating its own first-party data to partnering with new companies that can add color and nuance to its data. For example, via a partnership with data and analytics providers EDO and datafuelX and global media agency Mediahub, Univision is tracking the correlation between search engagement data and commercials that run on Univision. Source: Boyle, A. (2022, January 13). Univision’s Quest for Outcome-Focused Data and Representative Measurement. AdExchanger.  

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  • Article

NYCU: The Real Marketing Word-of-the-Year

Joe Mandese argues that the marketing-word-of-the-year is not, as widely assumed, “Diversity” but “Trust.” MediaPost’s Joe Mandese concludes that Trust, not Diversity, is the “real” marketing word of-the-year, based on an Advertiser Perceptions study. The research, a survey of ad execs (both marketers and agency media-buyers), found that nearly two-thirds would likely “downgrade” or scrap a media outlet from their ad plans altogether, based on a violation of trust. While trust has always been paramount in an industry where advertisers and agencies routinely require various proofs of performance on whether their ad buys ran as promised -- pre- and post-digital -- the percentage that assert they would dump or downgrade media for violating it went up 18 percentage points over the past 18 months. That coincides with another sentiment that ostensibly grew during the pandemic: Empathy. "Two-plus years ago, we were finding things more in the 'talk, but less action' category," says Sarah Bolton, EVP at Advertiser Perceptions, who oversaw and analyzed the study's findings, adding: "But post the pandemic, the social justice movement, the trend lines are all moving toward more accountability.” "In the beginning,” Bolton said, “we were seeing it associated with things ethics of data-handling – whether that's data privacy or security: brand safety, ad fraud, trying to understand where these things stack up with performance and ROI and scale. But in the last 18 months, we've really zoomed in on brand safety and digital content safety.” She adds that the subplot here is that brand marketers and agency media buyers are becoming much more cognizant of, and guarded about, the idea that their ad budgets are financially supporting media outlets that cause direct or indirect harm to society. Source: Mandese, J. (2021, December 13). Why 'Trust,' Not 'Diversity,' Is The Real Marketing Word-of-the-Year. RTBlog, Commentary: MediaPost.  

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