A new report from research firm System1 concludes that ads featuring diverse characters that tell emotional stories can contribute more to market share growth than the average U.S. ad. System1 worked with Omnicom’s BBDO on the project.
System1 analyzed 58 U.S.-based television ads that cast individuals from under-represented groups and highlighted diverse stories. It conducted more than 150 tests among 18,500 people to measure their subsequent emotional responses via its Test Your Ad platform.
Many of the ads scored well with both the general population and diverse audiences, which the company asserts is proof that diverse advertising techniques have a direct, positive correlation with business’ bottom lines.
The report, “Feeling Seen USA” examined ads featuring numerous under-represented groups, including but not limited to Black people, Asian American people, people from the LGBTQ+ community and people with disabilities.
The report reveals the presence of “diversity dividends,” which occur when an ad performs well among the general public and earns an even higher score among the diverse group featured in the ad. The report also purports to show that diverse advertising is more effective at achieving long-term business effects “due to the greater presence of happiness and intensity of emotion compared to non-diverse advertising.”
Lisa Buckler, Senior Vice President of Growth and Partnerships in U.S., System1, stated, “We’ve shown that by embracing diversity and inclusion in advertising, brands can create stronger relationships with consumers, build fame and generate sales.”
Jason Rosario, Chief Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer, BBDO Worldwide, added, “We often talk about representation, but representation on its own isn’t enough. We need to focus on unlocking the intersectional value that exists in the room so that we benefit from the diversity when it matters most.”
The full report can be accessed here.