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  • Writer's pictureJohn Barefield

The Case for Diversity and Inclusion in Advertising: Its Impact on Consumer Perception

In the words of novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, "Diversity is reality. Inclusion is a choice."


As we examine the case for diversity and inclusion in advertising, we must consider not only its moral implications but also its profound impact on consumer perception.


1. Representation Matters


Consumers desire to see themselves reflected in the brands they support. A study by Google found that 64% of consumers took some sort of action after seeing an ad that they considered to be diverse or inclusive (Google, 2019). This illustrates the power of representation in driving consumer engagement and action.


2. Boosts Brand Reputation


Embracing diversity and inclusion in advertising can enhance a brand's reputation. According to a survey by Adobe, 38% of U.S. consumers are more likely to trust brands that show diversity in their advertising (Adobe, 2020). This trust is a key driver in building long-term customer relationships.


3. Enhances Creativity and Innovation


Inclusion of diverse perspectives often sparks creativity and innovation, leading to more impactful advertising campaigns. Ads that highly resonated with consumers, according to the Cultural Insights Impact Measure (CIIM), were 2.7 times more likely to be highly innovative (CIIM, 2021).


4. Resonates with Younger Generations


Younger generations, particularly Gen Z and Millennials, appreciate and expect diversity in advertising. In a study by Facebook, 59% of Gen Z noted that they like seeing ads where real people are used, not just actors (Facebook, 2020).


5. Impacts the Bottom Line


Inclusion isn’t just right; it’s good for business. The Boston Consulting Group reports that companies with more diverse management teams have 19% higher revenues due to innovation (Boston Consulting Group, 2018).


Reflecting on the significance of diversity and inclusion in advertising, we must heed Adichie's wise words: diversity is our reality and inclusion our choice. By making the conscious choice to represent all facets of society, we not only enrich our creative output but also resonate more deeply with our audience. The case for diversity and inclusion in advertising is not only ethically sound, but it's also a smart business move.


Sources Cited:


  1. Google. (2019). The Business Case for Diversity and Inclusion. https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/

  2. Adobe. (2020). Diversity in Advertising. https://www.adobe.com/

  3. Cultural Insights Impact Measure. (2021). Impact of Diversity and Inclusion. http://ciim.net/

  4. Facebook. (2020). Gen Z and Diversity in Advertising. https://www.facebook.com/

  5. Boston Consulting Group. (2018). How Diverse Leadership Teams Boost Innovation. https://www.bcg.com/


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