Inclusive marketing surely has become the new norm – from inclusive email marketing ideas to inclusive content marketing writing. Understanding inclusive marketing can help make your brand connect better with audience segments you’ve never tapped before.
Business and commerce have evolved so much through the years, and marketing is not exempt. In fact, if you search for advertising design examples from the 1960s, you’d probably find a lot of them sexist or racist.
What is Inclusive Marketing?
Have you ever come across ads that seem to exclude a certain race, gender, ethnicity, age, socio-economic status, or religious background? That’s exactly the opposite of what inclusive marketing wants to achieve.
Inclusive marketing is all about embracing diversity and trying to appeal to market segments that have been underrepresented or stereotyped. By throwing social labels out the door, you make your brand more relatable to more people. As a result, your audience sees your brand in a new light and outside the conventions they usually connote with it.
Though ads are the obvious reflection of a brand’s inclusive strategy, they could also reflect in other marketing efforts. For instance, it can show in your blog post ideas or email copywriter goals. In the same vein, you can tailor social media to your customer without alienating other audience segments, which might just as well become your prospects.
Brands that Nailed Inclusive Marketing
Many ventures are trying to learn how to create content that’s inclusive and diverse. If you’re one of these ventures, take a cue from some of the brands that nailed this strategy.
Dove is one of the persona care brands that has embraced an inclusive branding identity early on. For instance, its ads always feature people of various ethnicities, shapes, and sizes. But perhaps one of the most notable efforts of this brand is its campaigns that battle ageism.
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In 2017, Dove launched its “Real Beauty Showcase” campaign, which featured females from different countries and ages 11 to 71. Best of all, they didn’t digitally enhance the images, encouraging older adults to embrace a broader definition of beauty.
2. Burger King
Most people would think of race, gender, or ethnicity right away when they hear the term inclusive. However, it could apply to diet just as well! In 2019, Burger King released a product called “Impossible Burger.” It’s a version of their best-selling burger for vegans, vegetarians, non-beef eaters, or just about anyone who wants a break of beef patties.
To hype up the product, its ad featured what’s supposedly the opening of a vegan burger store called “Impossible Restaurant.” Non-beef eaters lined up for the opening and were wholly surprised to learn that the restaurant is actually Burger King.
Numerous razor ads have focused on masculinity and the male ritual of shaving. That said, it’s not surprising that Gillette made waves in 2019 when it went against the grain. Its ad featured a transgender male who was shaving for the first time. Nervous though he was, he had his father coaching him from the sidelines. “Now, don’t be scared,” says his father. “Shaving is about being confident.” Yes, the scene is as heart-touching as you can imagine.
Coca-Cola was well ahead of its time when it did one of the most iconic ads in 1971. The ad featured 65 people of various ethnic backgrounds on a hilltop in Manziana, Italy, singing “I’d Like to Buy The World a Coke.” The ad and the song became so popular that a pop version was produced because requests for it flooded radio stations.
Neutrogena displayed its inclusive branding by marketing its product alongside Holi, a Hindu/Indian Festival. Holi is celebrated in Spring, and the festivities usually include colored powder fights. With the holiday being popular in the western world as well, the brand suggested through an Instagram post that their makeup remover wipes can help revelers clean up their hair and skin after all the fun.
Gone are the days when diaper companies only market to moms. Over the decades, society has grown to acknowledge that parenting duties are not exclusive to one gender. Pampers did a great job of showing this philosophy.
An ad for the brand featured music artists Adam Levine and John Legend changing their children’s diapers. A diverse group of dads holding their little ones then join them on a song about changing nappies. The ad concludes with Legend’s wife, Chrissy Teigen, walking in on them and saying, “Must we do this every time?”
Makeup isn’t just for women, and Maybelline acknowledges that. To appeal to a wider market, the New York-based cosmetic care company chose a male model to be one of their endorsers.
In 2017, the brand named YouTube star Manny Gutierrez as its first male ambassador. Gutierrez is one of the male beauty influencers who grew popular online. And with Maybelline tapping him as an ambassador, the makeup line opened up its doors to a bigger market segment.
8. Campbell’s Soup
Campbell’s Soup has had its share of mid-20th century housewife ads. However, it has moved towards a more diverse strategy over the past few decades. In fact, its 2015 ad for Campbell’s Star Wars soups featured a gay couple feeding their child.
The two dads take turns delivering Darth Vader’s famous line, “Luke, I am your father,” while spoon-feeding their kid. It’s a fun, simple, and heart-warming scene that ended with the tagline, “Made of real, real life.”
Without a doubt, marketing these days goes beyond trying to drive traffic to your blog or crafting the best eCommerce landing page. These days, marketing is all about creating a connection between the brand and its audience.
That said, being inclusive in your brand messaging is more than just modern-day marketing trends. Instead, it seems to be a standard that will be here to stay. So, you better get on to it if you want to keep in step with the rest of the players in your industry.