While the vast majority (83%) of marketers in Asia Pacific think they are doing a good job creating advertising that avoids gender stereotypes, audiences disagree says a new report from Kantar that shows two thirds (63%) of people in the region and (62%) in Malaysia believe that advertising conforms to gender stereotypes.
Beyond the deeper social implications, biased advertising affects the bottom line according to Kantar’s research which analyzed 30,000 ads.
“The advertising industry’s failure to contemporize impacts the effectiveness of individual adverts and campaigns,” Kantar said. “Globally, men are 38% more likely than women to be featured prominently in ads. However, the research shows that progressive ads, for example those led by authoritative female characters, outperform other ads. At a high level, this means male-skewed brands are missing out on an average of $9 billion in brand valuation globally.
When both genders appear in ads, men are 38% more likely to be featured more prominently than women.
The report added that “many people see these traditional expressions of men and women in advertising as holding back progress,” with 60% in the APAC region and 63% in Malaysia agreeing that most ads in their country “reinforce rather than help eradicate harmful gender-based stereotypes.”
Kantar’s AdReaction study includes survey responses of 450 global marketers, consumer advertising attitudes among almost 40,000 consumers, and brand equity analysis of over 9,000 global brands to create an in-depth understanding of the role of gender in advertising.
“While half of Malaysians agree that the way their gender is portrayed in advertising is a reflection of reality, the majority also feel that advertising in this country typically conforms to gender stereotypes,” said Ian Kwan, Chief Commercial Officer, Kantar Insights Division.
“However, we know that advertising has the potential to change the conversation. Progressive ads with authentic stories do well with audiences of both genders. Brands that want to journey through this with consumers need to start with ads that are carefully tested, handled sensibly, based on cultural and consumer understanding.”
Key global findings from ‘AdReaction: Getting Gender Right’
AdReaction recommends some key steps for creatives, media agencies and their clients to achieve more effective engagement across different gender groups:
The ‘AdReaction: Getting Gender Right’ study can be found at here along with details of supporting webinars which will explore the study findings.
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