Avoid diversity blind spots in your videos

Diversity in all forms of marketing is now center stage.

In the past decade, there has been a greater effort and focus on balancing gender in marketing, but much less progress has been made on the race and ethnicity balance.

This global shift in awareness about diversity is impacting all types of advertising and marketing — including video work — as customers are likely to be unhappy with campaigns that are not balanced and diverse, reflecting their people and their customers.

As Apple Inc. wrote on its Inclusion & Diversity webpage, “The most innovative company must also be the most diverse.” That goes for demographic diversity and diversity thinking.

It all starts with a video strategy

Integrating people from a broader mix of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, such as Black, Asian, Indian, Indigenous and others requires planning.

Mapping out your strategy in advance will help ensure that you are able to tell your story in a representative way to your target audience. It will also offer you the space to decide whether animation is the best route to take in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, and cost.

Either way, there are a range of solutions to consider, from using live footage to pre-existing or stock footage, or again animation — which can be useful if it is determined that more diversity is needed. In this case, animation can simplify the process and save on talent recruitment and auditions required for live action video shoots.

Understanding your target audience and what range of diversity your video needs to reflect the consumers you are catering to should be considered and planned in advance, so that your team can pave the best path forward for your marketing team.

That concept is backed by a 2020 POCAM study on Canadian BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of colour) advertising and marketing, in which it advises creating new marketing plans to consider your target audience. “As Canadian demographics have changed, ‘Canadiana’ has changed. The growing BIPOC audience must be considered.”

Take the time to plan and strategize your approach.

The benefits of inclusiveness

There are numerous benefits to ensuring your marketing videos embrace the diversity of your audience. Companies that represent their diverse customer base and do so authentically in their marketing ads have the potential to cast a wider net. But the benefits go beyond the brand and its customers; it extends to your employee base as well.

Fully representing your customer base allows you to better connect with your staff and forge connections. According to the POCAM study, inclusiveness, within the company and your marketing work, can help: “Raise visibility and encourage people to speak up and provide them the safety they need so that they can be courageous and speak up about their experience.”

It is also worth mentioning that being a top agency or creative workplace requires employers to be more diverse and inclusive in bringing new perspectives to the forefront. But as the study notes, “due to a lack of diversity, we see the output in the imagery of creative solutions in the market.”

Depending on the province, diversity might also include people from a specific area or speaking a specific language. For example, if your audience is based in Quebec, having your voiceover talent speak Quebecois French would play better to the market, while offering an English voiceover or subtitles may be important for the Montreal market.

Overall, understanding your employee base, your community and your target audience, and how all of that can be incorporated authentically into a marketing video, will allow you to reap a number of benefits for your brand and profitability margin. Want to learn more? Contact the team at Universus to see how we can help your business thrive.