Portrayal of diversity in advertising

An important measure of how far we’ve come is in our portrayal of diversity in the creative work we produce.

Lloyds Banking Group put together a fascinating report recently on the portrayal of diversity in advertising called Reflecting Modern Britain – have a read here.

Ultimately we want to appeal to the tastes and interests of a culturally diverse society. How does the work actually look? Here are examples of campaigns that either feature diverse casting or have a diversity message.


Coca-Cola - 'Pool boy' - Agency: Santo

 A wild race between two siblings to offer the household Pool Boy a Coca-Cola and quench his thirst. An inclusive, natural narrative with a twist at the end.


Ad for Danish Television station, 'TV2' 

 ‘All that we share’ on why we are all more similar than we think we are.


Nike - 'Equality' - Agency: W+K

 Aspiring to a world where we are defined by actions, not our looks and beliefs. A powerful 1 min 30 seconds.


Heineken - 'Worlds Apart' - Agency: Publicis London

 Heineken’s ‘Worlds Apart’ experiment features two strangers with opposing views proves that there’s more that unites than divides us. A positive diversity message #OpenYourWorld


Dove - 'Real Beauty' -  Agency: Ogilvy & Mather London

Dove’s quirky take on celebrating all shapes and sizes – inspiring or offensive? Watch and decide for yourself!



Tax doesn’t have to be taxing

Due to the change in deadlines for Self-Assessment tax returns the public had to be re-educated on this matter. To avoid a chaotic transition, HMRC built a new campaign built on the strengths of the previous one, sharing the same supportive strategy & presenter format. Moira Stuart, was deployed to ensure the new information was presented in a clear and reassuring manner. 



Dove rejected the conventions of its category and popular cultural beliefs to forge a strong connection with its customers and increase sales; to 'make women feel beautiful everyday by inspiring them to take greater care of themselves. 



HSBC wanted to create a brand with meaning and value that would help establish a strong global identity and image. ‘The World’s Local Bank’ was a brand idea born from a belief in embracing the variety and richness of culture in the world.


Mars Maltesers

Mars Chocolate is on a drive to better represent the diversity of the British public in its advertising and is taking learnings from its latest Maltesers campaign, starring people with a disability, to use the lens of diversity to create more effective advertising.



Analysing available data and over 1,400 worldwide airline routes revealed an untapped opportunity in the route between North America and India. To build awareness, a short film was created, telling the story of an expat son’s surprise visit to his mum in India after a separation of 15 years. The touching reunion between mother and son, made possible by British Airways, was distributed exclusively online, and coupled with social and search-intent data. 

Read more about whether diversity makes advertising more effective here.
Last updated 19/01/2018

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