In a study commissioned by Shutterstock Inc. and conducted by Censuswide, marketing campaigns still exhibit a generational divide in using “more diverse representation.”

Pooling survey data from more than 2,500 marketers across Australia, Brazil, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. and completed between Oct. 8 and Oct. 15, the survey found the majority of marketers in Australia (73 percent), the U.S. (72 percent), Brazil (67 percent) and Germany (60 percent) agree that standardization of the “gender stereotyping rule,” as practiced in the U.K., should be adopted in their countries.

The survey also revealed that while Generation Z and Millennial marketers had utilized more imagery featuring diverse models within the last year, Generation X and Baby Boomer marketers showed less “follow through.”

This disconnect in generational follow-through is seen in how marketers are composing their campaigns, and in the last 12 months, Gen Z marketers and Millennial marketers are leading the push for more same-sex couples, transgender models, people with disabilities and gender-fluid models.

As it compares, 35 percent of Generation Z and 37 percent of Millennials cast “racially diverse models” versus 27 percent of Generation X and 16 percent of Baby Boomers.

“There is clearly a shift occurring in our industry as the next generation of marketers find their footing and visualize their beliefs related to diversity of race, gender and abilities in the marketing campaigns they’re creating,” said Lou Weiss, Shutterstock’s chief marketing officer.

Emotional reaction, shareability of images, connection between the images, the message portrayed and the representation of modern society were among the criteria for marketers in selecting campaign imagery.

As for how the outlook of diverse imagery in marketing is perceived, Shutterstock found a majority “agree there is still room for growth” with Australia (87 percent), Brazil (95 percent), Germany (86 percent), the U.K. (88 percent) and the U.S. (89 percent).

Regardless, the younger generations’ claim for diversity will be increasingly demanded across marketing channels, as this snapshot reveals.

Editor’s note: Shutterstock and PMC Media (parent of WWD) have a partnership agreement for fashion and entertainment images.

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