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May 30, 2023

Impactful, targeted, and inclusive advertising

Dayna Lang
Author Dayna Lang

It is crucial to create strategies that are impactful, targeted, and inclusive. Ad targeting is a trick as old as time; you would be hard pressed to find a marketer that doesn’t consider targeting an essential part of their strategy. However, not every marketer considers inclusivity in their ads – but they should. By implementing an inclusive advertising strategy you can impactfuly target a greater number of demographics. Values aside, inclusivity is an effective strategy. 

Consider this, you’re selling an outerwear line including jackets that have snaps. Snaps are closure mechanisms that are easier for those with certain disabilities to use. By creating ads that demonstrate this accessibility (using models or actors with those disabilities) you can better target that audience alongside a wider one. 


Your audience should see themselves in your ads

Beyond simply including different groups in a single ad, marketers can consider creating specific ads in order to better target different groups. Skims recently did an entire campaign using models with disabilities in order to advertise their new adaptive underwear line. While this may seem obvious to some, given that the line is for those with disabilities, the company could have still modeled this line on able bodied models (and many companies would). By using these models the company has had a greater impact on their target audience, improved their reach, and garnering earned media. 

Another fantastic example of well-targeted, inclusive advertising is Aerie’s no photoshop campaign. Aerie made a splash in the world of advertising by casting models with a variety of body shapes, races, freckles, ability levels, and so on. They took this one step further  by not photoshopping out any imperfections. This had a massive impact on audiences as it allowed their customers to truly imagine what Aerie’s undergarments would look like on their own body, and the novel premise again resulted in earned media in addition to initial campaign ad spend. 


Ways to improve advertising inclusivity 

There are several ways to improve your inclusivity in order to better target your audience segments. One way is to consult members of those audiences when writing and directing your creatives. Ensuring the stories you tell reflect your audience is a great place to start. This includes the principles they may uphold, their interests, and other characteristics and things they consider valuable to them. 

Let’s say it’s for a holiday ad campaign. Consider adding elements into your campaign that resonate to your target audience that celebrate and observe this particular holiday. Will they find the ad appropriate? Will it feel inclusive and resonate with them in a positive way? These are just some questions and things to consider when creating an impactful and inclusive campaign.

Another consideration is casting. When casting models or actors for your creatives, be mindful to cast those who reflect your target audience. This means considering the race, ability, size, and entire personhood of your characters and models so that your audience can connect with them. To learn more about this you can read: Multicultural Marketing: A Marketer’s Guide.


Key takeaways in having an impactful, targeted, and inclusive advertising

  • Consider inclusivity beyond your value statement, but for its targeting potential 
  • Research and consult with your target audience when making creatives
  • Cast actors and models who reflect your audience 

Directly targeting your advertising to your intended audience is essential for engaging and converting the customers you need for success. Not only is effective content targeting the most impactful way to engage your customers, but by then showing those ads to your customers at a specific, targeted point in their purchase journey you can save cycles and ad spend. 


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