Inclusive Marketing: The Power of Diverse Representation in CTV Ads

Reach Diverse Audiences Authentically on Connected TV

The demand for diversity and inclusion in American advertising is on the rise. A 2023 Statista survey found that 70 percent of Gen Z and 75 percent of millennials believe brands with large audiences should promote diversity, compared to two-thirds of Gen Xers and baby boomers.

With the American population rapidly diversifying and a multicultural majority expected in the coming decades, advertisers need a powerful solution to reach these growing demographics authentically. Enter Connected TV (CTV) advertising.

Read on as we explore the significant benefits CTV and streaming advertising offers for advertisers looking to reach diverse audiences.

The evolving definition of diversity in media

Traditionally, diversity in media was viewed through a narrow lens — focusing on broad ethnic categories, like Hispanic, Asian, or African American. Media buying has also relied on these same broad buckets when trying to reach diverse audiences. While this form of demographic audience targeting can be effective in some cases, it fails to paint the full picture of an individual, excluding key components of what makes a person who they are.

Today, true diversity and inclusion in advertising goes beyond skin color or ethnicity and encompasses a person's unique perspective, shaped by their values, experiences, lifestyles, and cultural backgrounds. This shift necessitates a move away from the binary of "general market" versus "minority-targeted" advertising. Instead, diversity advertising should focus on cultural affinity, shared interests, and a wider range of demographics, including factors like language, occupation, and life stage.

Diverse audiences are growing so fast that the general market is no longer “general” at all. Younger generations, like millennials and Gen Z, are more fluid in their identities and often identify across ethnicities. This, coupled with Gen Z's massive spending power, influence, and diverse makeup (more than 48 percent non-white in the U.S. alone, per Pew Research), makes them a crucial audience for brands to understand and cater to.

Learn more: Your CTV Performance Guide for Gen Z

How CTV enables inclusive marketing

While traditional media often relies on a one-size-fits-all approach, missing the nuances of diverse audiences, CTV advertising flips this script entirely making it ideal for diverse marketing efforts. CTV overcomes limitations like narrow targeting and stereotypical portrayals that hold traditional cable advertising back. With capabilities like audience targeting, advanced campaign measurement, and creative customization, CTV allows brands to reach the right viewers with messaging that resonates deeply.

Audience Targeting Capabilities

Utilizing advanced targeting capabilities, advertisers can go beyond general demographics and reach viewers based on specific cultural interests, like content affinities, language preferences, or even music genres. These interests offer a deeper connection with audiences, as they speak to their values, identities, and communities, ultimately leading to more relevant and impactful advertising.

Consider an athletic brand targeting South Asian viewers in their 20s. Traditional cable might place their ad during a generic program, like a reality TV show, but that strategy relies on broad strokes in the hopes of reaching a small percentage of their target audience. On the other hand, with CTV, advertisers can target viewers who stream Bollywood movies, listen to bhangra music playlists, and/or follow fitness influencers on streaming platforms.

Furthermore, CTV boasts a wider variety of content and suppliers, creating a richer landscape for advertisers to align with programming that resonates with diverse audiences. There may only be a handful of traditional cable channels featuring content relevant to their target audience’s cultural experiences. CTV, however, offers a vast selection of programming. With CTV, the brand can place ads on South Asian sports channels, fitness programs with South Asian instructors, or even sponsor original content featuring athletes with similar backgrounds and interests.

Not only does this targeted approach foster trust and connection, but it also eliminates wasted ad spend and ensures brand messaging reaches the most receptive viewers.

Advanced Campaign Measurement

Traditional TV advertising offered limited insights into campaign performance, making it difficult to gauge its effectiveness with diverse audiences. CTV, however, changes the game when it comes to multicultural marketing with its advanced campaign measurement capabilities.

Like CTV’s audience targeting capabilities, its campaign measurement goes beyond basic demographics, measuring against the same intricate characteristics used to reach the target audience. By providing advertisers with such granularity and campaign intelligence, they can understand not just who saw the ad, but how different audience segments engaged with it.

Imagine a food brand running a campaign celebrating regional Hispanic cuisine. The granularity behind CTV’s campaign measurement allows the food brand to track metrics like completion rates and engagement specifically within the Hispanic American segment who enjoy cooking shows.

This detailed data provides concrete validation of the campaign’s impact. Did viewers watch the entire ad? Did the message resonate with their cultural background, as evidenced by higher engagement? By measuring these success metrics across different audience segments, CTV empowers advertisers to refine their campaigns for optimal performance.

Creative Customization

Custom creative tailored to specific demographics is key to achieving meaningful engagement and fostering trust. A 2023 Nielsen report found that 63 percent of Latinx consumers are “more likely to buy from brands that feature people like them in their advertising.” However, simply including diverse faces in Hispanic marketing efforts isn't enough. Many Latinx consumers feel brands often miss the mark by relying on stereotypes or inauthentic portrayals, per Forbes, resulting in missed connections and lost revenue.

CTV platforms offer high-impact ad formats that resonate with specific cultural nuances and capture attention. Interactive elements like QR codes, interactive overlays, and image galleries further enhance engagement and allow viewers to seamlessly connect with your brand. By investing in custom creative for your CTV campaigns, you can ensure your message is seen, heard, and understood by a wider, more diverse audience.

Where and how brands show their support matters. Custom creative allows you to go beyond performative gestures and create inclusive ads with visuals and messaging that are genuinely representative.

The future of CTV advertising is diverse

The future of successful CTV advertising is closely tied to advertisers’ ability to reach wider, more diverse audiences authentically. Advertisers have taken notice, as excluding these viewers could mean missing out on significant growth potential.

In fact, a recent Numerator report suggests that consumers are drawn to brands that reflect the diversity of the real world in their marketing efforts. Of their many insights on the subject, they report that diverse representation is important to 63 percent of consumers, and 47 percent of consumers are likely to buy from brands that include diversity in their ads.

Interestingly, they also found that “younger, urban, and racially diverse shoppers place a higher emphasis on the importance of diversity and its positive impact than older, rural, and white consumers.”

Given the nation’s increasingly diverse makeup, failing to keep pace with this trend risks not only missing a huge portion of the market but also potentially damaging brand perception. By embracing diversity and inclusion today, advertisers not only align with current consumer preferences, but they also future-proof their marketing strategy.

Advertisers looking to connect with diverse audiences or implement an inclusive marketing strategy can lean on Sabio’s expertise in the space. We offer the campaign activation and measurement tools needed for authentic marketing efforts that resonate with multicultural audiences.

Diversity is in Sabio's DNA

Reaching the increasingly diverse CTV/OTT landscape requires innovative solutions. At Sabio, a diverse-owned leader in the space, we understand this challenge and solve it through our ability to see diverse audiences differently. Our technology goes beyond just ad placement — we help brands reach, engage, and validate diverse audiences to drive meaningful impact.

To achieve this, we leverage a data-driven approach to audience targeting, moving beyond basic demographics to focus on passions, interests, and life stages. This ensures your message not only reaches the right viewers, but it resonates with them too.

Further amplifying authenticity and reach, we foster a truly inclusive environment by partnering with diverse suppliers, including Hispanic, African American, Asian American, and LGBTQ+ publishers. This allows our partners to achieve impactful results through reaching diverse audiences authentically at scale.

Engagement with diverse audiences goes beyond spoken language, too. Sabio’s in-house creative studio allows us to incorporate interactive elements, QR codes, and subtitle capabilities on any campaign to effectively reach both English and non-English speaking viewers on CTV and mobile devices.

Partnering with Sabio doesn't just help you connect with diverse audiences — it can also help you meet diversity spend requirements, potentially qualifying you for federal and state tax incentives and rebates. This allows you to achieve your marketing goals while demonstrating your commitment to inclusive practices.

Connect with Sabio

Get in touch with our team of diverse audience experts to discuss the possibilities of your next CTV/OTT ad campaign.

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