Over the past few years, consumers have started holding advertisers’ feet over the fire, forcing them to be more conscious about ethics in advertising and intentional about the content they use, the teams behind the campaigns, and overall investments in media. Our newly launched podcast, What the AdTech: Let’s Talk Responsible Advertising, features thought-provoking, honest, and raw conversations with some of today’s top marketing minds about the future of ethics in advertising and what it means for marketers, publishers, and consumers today. Be sure to check out the first episode, second episode, and third episode if you haven’t already.

The fourth What the AdTech podcast episode, Empowering Diverse and Multicultural Voicesfeatures Gonzalo Del Fa, president of GroupM Multicultural, and Damian Benders, general manager of B Code, who discuss how (and why) the advertising perspective on diversity is changing, how marketers can authentically connect with consumers, and why inclusive marketing is essential for expanding audience reach. 

In this insightful and thought-provoking conversation, Gonzalo and Damian argue that diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) advertising efforts need to go deeper than mere “checkbox” approaches. For years, representation has been the focus in advertising. But DEI is not simply about making sure that people of different varying backgrounds are represented in ads. According to Damian, we need to start questioning: “Are we reflecting [people’s] lives? Are we representing people in an authentic way? Are we connecting with those audiences? Because that’s what we try to do in marketing. That’s ultimately the goal: I want you to love my brand; I want you to love my product; I want to have a relationship with you.” That doesn’t happen through consumers simply seeing someone who looks like them in an ad; it requires an effort to understand the individual consumer and whether their identity has any bearing on the products and services offered to them. 

Damian Benders
“Are we representing people in authentic way? Are we connecting with those audiences? Because that’s what we try to do in marketing.”
Damian Benders
general manager,
B Code

As Gonzalo reminds us, “marketing is pretty simple”: it’s about reaching “the right people at the right time with the right message for the right product. So why are we having such a hard time understanding why we need to be inclusive and diverse?” To him, the “trick of marketing” is “understanding the commonalities and nuances” between different consumers, because “through the commonalities, you drive efficiencies. Through the nuances, you drive effectiveness.” 

“The trick of marketing [is] understanding the commonalities and the nuances. Through the commonalities, you drive efficiencies. Through the nuances, you drive effectiveness.”
Gonzalo Del Fa
GroupM Multicultural

Moving forward, Damian asserts that “there are ways to understand DEI audiences and reach them in a way that allows you to respect and acknowledge them.” It’s not as complex as it sounds. Gonzalo points out, “This is not rocket science. This is no different than any marketing initiative you’re putting together.” It’s simply about learning what is relevant to specific audiences and what values are most important to them. 

Listen to the entire fourth episode to hear more about:

  • How agencies and publishers think about diversity from an advertising perspective, and how that perspective has changed over the past two years
  • Why we need to reevaluate the misnomer of ‘general market’ campaigns and acknowledge all the qualifiers, including race and ethnicity, that differentiate consumers 
  • How to reach diverse and multicultural audiences with authentic and impactful messaging that makes them feel recognized and valued as customers
  • Specific ways to empower diverse and multicultural audiences in advertising
  • Best practices for companies that want to do more than “check the box” when in comes to marketing campaigns that emphasize diversity and inclusion

Learn more

Grab your headphones and join us for Season 1. You can listen to the full fourth episode here and subscribe to the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, and Stitcher. Stay tuned for the fifth episode, “The Lies of Brand Safety,” where we uncover the missteps of big tech, which often start with thinking brand-first instead of customer-first. The podcast opens with the premise that responsible media starts with considering customer perspectives and problems and developing solutions specifically for them.