Avoiding Gender Biases in Advertising to Attract More Customers

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“Moral imperatives and commercial reasoning indicates that advertising should treat women fairly. Brands that speak in the language of gender equality win ratings that are 8% to 10% higher in terms of brand appeal,” – Sheryl Sandberg

The human impulse for creative communication stems from the desire to connect with fellow human beings. In the modern world, communication takes on many forms, one of which is advertising and promotional publicity. Corporate entities and businesses invest in advertising campaigns to protect and enhance market share. That said, we note that gender biases in advertising should find no place in the modern world. This is important because contemporary customers represent an empowered constituency that tends to take umbrage at stereotypical depictions of gender in advertisements. Consequently, gender-neutral advertisements tend to attract more customers. We will examine some of the benefits of such advertising below.

Gender-neutral advertisements appeal to a wide spectrum of consumers and customers. These artefacts of human creativity bear testimony to the fact that modern consumers are enlightened creatures that have no truck with gender stereotypes. For instance, a retail brand may choose to advertise its wares through a series of print and online advertisements. The brief to the creative agency may include express directions to avoid gender biases in advertising. In response, the creative agency may create a range of promotional materials that feature masculine and feminine models in a variety of stances inside the same creative. This departure from stereotypical depictions will likely appeal to a wide range of consumers, thereby boosting brand appeal and attracting more customers.

The creation and dissemination of gender-balanced advertising creations signal the fact that corporate entities remain serious about their brand image. We note that common gender biases in advertising bear the potential to distort and erode a brand image. This erosion debilitates a company’s ranking, according to studies in consumer perceptions. Therefore, brands and businesses are advised to steer clear of problematic advertisements in the interests of preserving brand integrity and safeguarding brand reputation. Brands can attract greater numbers of customers when they publicly pledge their unstinting support to a gender-neutral attitude.

Customers are attracted to modern businesses that practice gender diversity. Therefore, this attribute is critical in modern markets that are characterised by fierce commercial competition for customers’ dollars. For instance, a software development firm can choose to negate gender biases in advertising when it is recruiting coding talent from open markets. The copy of the advertisement should make it amply clear that the firm upholds equal pay for equal work. The firm can also deploy creative imagery that depicts smashed glass ceilings in a bid to attract a top-notch workforce. We note that such advertisements will help the firm to achieve a stellar reputation, attract the best talent, and raise its corporate profile in the eyes of new and existing customers.

A balanced mix of the genders in a corporate workforce lifts employee morale in the modern world. The mix is best achieved when companies work to eliminate gender biases in advertising campaigns. We note that brands and businesses must endeavour to achieve a gender balance on shop floors as also in corporate boardrooms. An equitable gender representation enables the best ideas to originate and bear fruit. The outcomes may enable a certain brand to pull ahead of competition and attract additional customers. Market surveys validate this fact, especially in the case of large corporations that pursue gender equality in letter and spirit.

Modern customers are discerning entities that have acquired the power to pick the best of products and services. This constituency prizes gender diversity in the corporate domain and clearly indicates its choices by favouring businesses that avoid gender biases in advertising their wares. For instance, brands and businesses may consider creating advertisements that project women in the forefront of corporate performance. A not-for-profit organization can choose to burnish its brand credentials by commissioning visuals that depict women in leadership positions. This visual has the potential to attract significant customer attention. The visual also enables the said entity to embellish its reputation as an equal-opportunity employer, thereby attracting significant volumes of donations from members of the public. We note that this instance represents new thinking, as also the fact that a corporate entity can take its vision statement seriously.

Investors and stakeholders represent a significant part of modern corporate enterprises. Large brands and transnational corporations can woo their investors by undertaking specific actions that destroy gender biases in advertising campaigns. For instance, an automobile manufacturer can choose to demolish gender stereotypes by featuring women test drivers that validate the latest automotive creations on racing tracks. We note that test-driving is regarded as an exclusively male preserve; the said advertisement is designed to expand possibilities in this hitherto male domain. The optics of this advertisement can enable the automobile manufacturer to win accolades and the unadulterated support of its investors and customers. This illustration clearly underlines the benefits of spectacularly dismantling gender biases in advertising.

Social media has emerged as a powerful platform in modern consumer-driven societies. Brands and businesses acknowledge this fact by operating a consistent presence in social media platforms. Intelligent and media-savvy business operators may elect to slay gender biases in advertising by spotlighting a reversal of roles on social media. For instance, a manufacturer of toys may choose to go against advertising motifs by commissioning visuals that depict young girls clad in blue clothing posing with toy weapons. We note that this visual sends a powerful brand message to observers and can attract enormous attention on social media handles. Subsequently, the campaign may ignite debate and online conversations resulting in the brand attracting a high number of customers. We may state that this contrarian approach to publicity represents a sign of the times.

Removing gender biases in advertising can help a business to win high favour with female audiences. This strategy must be developed carefully and implemented with élan to achieve the desired outcome. For instance, a manufacturer of breakfast cereals can create a video advertisement that hinges on role reversal. The creative may focus on a domestic kitchen wherein, the ‘man of the house’ prepares breakfast for the entire family. The cheerful tone of the visual provokes thought and encourages families to experiment with certain role reversals. The advertisement can capture public attention and may help the cereal manufacturer to attract significant numbers of new customers.

In the preceding paragraphs, we have examined some of the positive outcomes that follow the demolition of gender biases in advertising. Brands and businesses must note that modern customers represent public sensitivities and therefore, advertising images and themes must conform to contemporary ideas on gender equality. Old-fashioned gender biases have no place in the public domain in the modern day. Consequently, big businesses are removing glass ceiling for corporate performers with a view to tap top talent. Misadventures in advertising campaigns that hinge on stereotypical gender biases tend to attract public distaste and customer wrath with very visible consequences on business bottom lines and corporate images. Hence, businesses must work to address public sensitivities through balanced publicity campaigns. That said, we note that customers appreciate fine creative work and reward businesses with their continued custom and hard-earned dollars.

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