Diversity and inclusion can feel like tricky things for advertisers to get right. But they shouldn’t be. As our recent Feeling Seen report has shown, people from any community want to see their lives reflected on screen - and that’s something advertising should always do well.
We conceived this report with System1 & DECA as something that could help dispel the fear that sometimes holds marketers back and replace it with confidence, by showing how diverse groups in society themselves react to work which features them. We wanted to empower marketers and agencies with examples of getting it right, and with the knowledge that it’s good for their brands and society as a whole when audiences start feeling seen.
Here are Shane MacRory of DECA's 7 things to remember when creating authentic, inclusive ads:
1. Ensure you have diversity in front of the camera as well as behind to build in authenticity.
2. Find simple themes that cross any cultural divides - like food, family, or relationships.
3. Show diverse communities together in situations which are relevant and allow them to exist in a happy uncomplicated state.
4. Authenticity comes from representation 365 days a year - not just a gesture for Pride or Black History Month
5. Ask the people you’re including what they think, feel, and want. The best adverts have taken inspiration and feedback from these communities.
6. Surprise and challenge people’s expectations and don’t just place diverse people in heteronormative white british situations.
7. Don’t think of these people as “minorities”. 20% of British people are people of colour; 20% of British people live with disabilities; 7% are LGBTQ+; 40% are older women, and so on. The UK is a diverse nation - taken together, these people and communities represent the majority.