After Google noticed a lack of diversity in most ads it surveyed, it has now launched a toolkit for marketers to help make advertising more inclusive
Google puts together a toolkit to help brands make marketing more inclusive and diverse
Sundar Pichai wrote in 2020 that Google will expedite its process of building racial equity

After Google noticed a lack of diversity in most ads it surveyed, it has now launched a toolkit for marketers to help make advertising more inclusive

Sundar Pichai wrote in 2020 that Google will expedite its process of building racial equity
  • “Inclusive marketing is not only our responsibility, but an opportunity,” says Raphael Diallo, Inclusive Marketing Lead, Google in a blog.
  • For any company that wants to make a positive contribution to how we see ourselves and treat each other, Google’s toolkit is for you.
After the police killing of George Floyd last year, an incident that shook the USA, global tech giant Google decided to religiously commit and expedite its process of building racial equity. One of the commitments that the search engine company made was working to improve Black+ representation at senior levels and improve leadership representation of underrepresented groups by 30% by 2025. Google’s Sundai Pichai wrote in 2020 that the company will be working on two goals: internally, to build sustainable equity for Google’s Black+ community, and externally, to make its products and programs helpful in the moments that matter most to Black users.

While Google has been working on Diversity, Inclusion and Equity (DEI) for over a decade, it is now extending its work to advertising and marketing. Google’s Inclusive Marketing Lead, Raphael Diallo has announced the launch of ‘ All in’ -- a marketing toolkit to help brands make marketing more inclusive and diverse. It is calling on the industry to tap into their collective responsibility to make work a place where everyone feels seen and heard.

As marketers, every creative choice we make has the power to shape how we see ourselves and each other – and make a positive contribution to the media landscape. Yet too many perspectives are being excluded from all stages of the creative process. Google is working towards changing just that.

“Four years ago, our Chief Marketing Officer, Lorraine Twohill, asked my team to better understand how well we were reflecting the world in our marketing. Since then, we’ve been on a mission to ensure we take inclusion into consideration at every stage of each story we tell. As a Black and gay man who rarely saw myself reflected in media growing up, I know personally the potential impact this could have on others,” shared Diallo.

Sharing what made Lorraine Twohill, Chief Marketing Officer of Google relook at the patterns in advertising and overall external communication, she wrote, “Sitting in creative reviews over the last year, I felt I was seeing more diversity in our casting. There was some truth to this. We have been auditing our work using machine learning and manual reviews for some time. Screen time for women in our work is up to 48% this year. The age of people we feature in our ads is becoming more reflective of the general population. And 23% of the consumers in our U.S. ads are Black.”

“But I wasn’t seeing the full picture. It turns out we were mostly casting people with lighter complexions and a disproportionate number of interracial couples. And even when we were bringing in more complexions, we often did so in stereotypical roles. One in three portrayals of Black people were limited to dancing, music, or sports. For example, women had less speaking time, we too often portrayed Black people in overused roles like playing sports or dancing, and Latinos and people with disabilities were severely underrepresented in our work,” added Twohill.

The toolkit was created by an inclusive marketing panel of more than 90 Googlers in marketing who represent a wide range of backgrounds and provided feedback on more than 300 Google campaigns. It was further shared with 600 agencies and industry partners to get their feedback. Google has also partnered with the key industry bodies such as 4A’s, ANA and Ad Council who have reviewed and endorsed All In.

Here is what the ‘All In’ Toolkit includes:

Building the right team: Practical advice on how to hire and empower underrepresented talent in your team and partners so your ideas benefit from a variety of perspectives.

Making inclusive strategic and creative choices: Tools to help you make inclusive choices throughout the marketing and creative process, from defining your audience and media strategy to brief making to writing a script or social copy.

Holding each other accountable: Ways to set goals and measure your progress, through representation audits and creative targets, to ensure your work is on the right track.

Eliminating stereotypes in marketing: An expansive set of U.S.-focused audience guides co-created with groups like ADCOLOR, Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, GLAAD, Disability: IN, and many more to help ensure historically underrepresented demographic groups are authentically and positively represented.

Google is also planning to launch a worldwide study soon.

“Whether you’re a strategist, creative, producer or brand manager, we hope you’ll find these initial resources useful, and we look forward to expanding these insights to more global audiences in the future,” wrote Diallo.