Diversity, Identity and Representation
How people see themselves and how they think the media portrays them
Advertising holds up a mirror to how we see ourselves as a society, and how we see people like us fitting into society. Initiatives like #ThisGirlCan and We’re The Superhumans have changed the way that women and the disabled are shown and talked about in ads, and helped drive change.
COG Research have looked at how people feel about portrayal of different groups in ads, and focused in particular on how ethnicity is shown, and the stories that advertisers tell through their casting.
They have gone deeper, looking at how we feel about the labels that society puts on us, in particular how our ethnicity / colour / place of origin is described. And how well we feel those labels actually fit us and describe us. And what we think is most important to our identity, and how that differs by who we are.
They also explored how well or badly we actually know what the make-up of our society is – how can we know if the mirror is true if we don’t know what the original image looks like?
You may be surprised by some of the findings: which group in society do we all believe is much bigger than it really is? Does being a member of a minority group mean we are more accurate in our beliefs? Which ethnic group is happiest with the descriptor usually put on them by researchers? And which feel it fits least well? And which ads took risks with portrayal of ethnic groups and got it right?
Come along and find out how well you know Britain, and how well the advertising industry is really doing at representing Britain in 2018.