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    When Spotify introduced its 'Work From Anywhere' model in 2021, it tried to manage the issues that sprung up because of the pandemic and the ensuing lockdown. More than a year since its implementation, it was happy to report lower turnover levels compared to pre-pandemic.

    Another significant positive outcome of the campaign was - increased diverse representation. Black and Hispanic representation increased from 12.7% to 18% from 2019 to 2021, while women in leadership globally increased from 25% to 42%. The policy became a blessing in disguise.

    Let's see what Fresh Gai can draw our attention to despite the wariness of advertisers surrounding this topic.


    Sparking a difficult conversation

    In this age of Gen Z, awareness is at an all-time high. It is just not okay to sell a top-tier product anymore if your brand ethics do not promote diversity and inclusion.

    According to Deloitte's 2021 Global Marketing Trends Executive Survey, 57% of consumers are more loyal to brands that commit to addressing social inequities in their actions

    WeWork - Great Inspires Great

    WeWork India has recently launched a campaign titled 'great inspires great' with inclusivity and diversity at its core. The campaign illustrates how a diverse community in a safe, flexible workspace can help individuals and businesses of all sizes to grow.

    Dalmia Gold - CTC Tea

    A tea house in Eastern India, Dalmia Gold, introduced a brand activation campaign called 'Nayi Soch' to help break stereotypes and promote acceptance of the transgender community.

    The inclusivity and diversity issue has garnered a lot of traction in recent times.

    But, Brainy Gai can attest that gender transformative advertisements are not a novice concept.


    Ariel - #ShareTheLoad

    Ariel has repeatedly questioned the gender roles and inequality in Indian households through its ad films. Still, no one can ever forget the first thought-provoking film focused on laundry in its #ShareTheLoad campaign.

    Message vs the Messenger

    Inclusive marketing is more than just messaging. It also tells a lot about the people who are creating the message. And that is why it matters even more.

    With many conversations around this, brands are grasping that they must relook at consumer demographics via an inclusive lens. But how can they do it?

    • Follow website accessibility practices for easy navigation.
    • Keep messaging simple and devoid of any complicated jargon (so that it is easily comprehendible by the maximum number of readers/viewers).
    • Approach the topic with authenticity and sincerity.
    • Strive to include a range of ages, body types, races, and abilities to which real people can relate.

    A Shutterstock study surveyed 1,500 marketers in the U.S., U.K. and Australia and reported that 80% of marketers believe pictures featuring diverse people can improve the perception of their brand.

    No pride in rainbow washing

    Talking about authenticity, one area where advertising loses the most is the representation of the LGBTQ+ community.

    A demand for equal rights has been reduced to a phenomenon of corporate rainbow washing. It has become a marketing tactic and is criticised for being an appropriation of the rainbow logo and its significance.

    The internet has a great memory!

    And it is easy to botch up any marketing effort if not handled sensitively.


    OkCupid’s eccentric visuals

    OkCupid's campaign used loud colours and visuals to bring out the eccentricity of the brand. The app offers inclusive-minded features and identities to users to choose from based on what they identify with- their sexual orientation or an attribute to which they're attached. Click here for more.

    Moxy Hotels universe

    The campaign ‘Moxy universe, play beyond’ by Moxy Hotels aims to provide travellers with a place where they can freely express themselves and "build like-minded communities rooted in celebrating inclusivity".

    Backlash against BECCA

    In 2018, BECCA, the Australian cosmetic company, shared an edited image of a white person's palm to appear black. Of course, an internet storm raged up for a few reasons. First, a black person’s palm is not black. Second, it highlighted the reluctance of brands to use people of colour in their ads.

    Result: The insensitive advertising caused a social media backlash against the brand.

    Is it worth the effort?

    Why should every brand be a part of an inclusive, evolving market? It is the opportunity for the businesses to:

    • Tap untouched customer base through relatability based on representation
    • Make a statement as an inclusive brand and build an emotional connection
    • Most importantly, isn’t it the right thing to do?

    As Google puts it,

    “every creative choice we make has the power to shape how we see ourselves and each other – and make a positive contribution to the media landscape.”

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