Culture Hack

Culture Hack

Represent the Market: How Diversity and Inclusion is Approached in Marketing Today

For decades, advertisements and promotions for companies have promoted the most ideal versions of society. People that looked “normal” and lived “normal” lives according to societal standards were vehicles of marketing, selling a variety of products to populations that most likely didn’t look like or live like them at all. Being the best meant being the most perfect and, more bluntly, the most unrealistic. The people who these brands most likely want to reach are much more complex than the conventional. But in an age where we’ve realized that rose-tinted glasses aren’t the healthiest or effective way to view the world, this marketing mindset just isn’t as impactful. 

Today, when the mistreatment and exclusion of so many marginalized groups is circulated on social media platforms and the internet, brands need to accurately reflect their consumer base. The bare minimum of representation is no longer enough; people of all skin tone shades, of all cultural backgrounds, of all orientations and preferences, want to see themselves in the products that they purchase. They deserve iconic commercials that will be referred to throughout pop culture history, to know that companies have them on the brain always, and, most importantly, to feel seen. 

While some businesses are still learning how to be inclusive without making it a trope, there are a good number of brands that are not just representing but making it their mission to accurately reflect their consumers. Mega product seller and tech company Amazon, for example, has been embracing the diversity in its employee pool and how it is an accurate example of their large consumer base. Some of its more recent marketing campaigns have represented the deaf community, multicultural communities, and even single parents. Though the company has put out more product-forward advertisements, they still display a wide variety of marginalized people in their campaigns. 

Another company that has been successful in terms of representation and inclusion is DoorDash. The immigrant-founded food delivery company recently put out a collection of commercials partnering with Sesame Street Workshop, featuring some of its iconic puppets and “Hamilton’s” Daveed Diggs. DoorDash thought that partnering with Sesame Street was perfect because, for nearly half a century, the children’s program has encouraged inclusion more than any other form of entertainment. Daveed Diggs is also a symbol of Black success and excellence in the music and acting worlds. 

Although there is still much progress to be made when it comes to inclusion and representation in the marketing world, a few companies have proved that it is more than possible to accurately embody the consumer base. Part of fighting systemic racism is making room for marginalized multicultural groups to feel seen and to have the opportunity to become the faces of society they should have been all along.