DEI stands for “diversity, equity, and inclusion,” and chances are you’ve been hearing the acronym everywhere you turn in the digital marketing world. But despite its ubiquity, DEI is much more than just the latest marketing buzzword: Audiences want to see inclusivity in marketing, and brands aren’t just taking notice, they’re also raising the standards of DEI in marketing with some truly inspiring campaigns.
Inclusive Marketing: No Longer Taking a Back Seat
Today’s demographics and consumer expectations are fueling companies’ prioritization of inclusive marketing. Consider the following stats:
- Age. Even though research shows that less than 10% of all ads portray individuals aged 65 and above, these older adults represent between 15% to 28% of the population in developed nations.
- Gender identity. The Human Rights Campaign’s recent analysis of data from the 2021 Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey indicates that approximately 20 million people in the US identify as LGBTQIA+ (including more than 2 million adults who identify as transgender).
- Race and nationality. Representation matters: 71% of people in a recent survey conducted by Meta said they expect brands to promote diversity and inclusion in their online marketing, and 59% said they preferred to buy from brands that meet these expectations.
- Social impact. Whether it’s wage inequality, climate change, or racism, the 2022 Edelman Trust Barometer found that consumers believe businesses have the power to create positive societal change. And brands are taking notice: Within the environmental realm, for example, 378 companies spanning 55 industries and 34 countries around the globe have signed The Climate Pledge to reach net-zero carbon emissions by 2040.
When it comes to DEI, the marketing world has come a long way. Even the audience segments you activate for your campaigns can align with your inclusive campaign initiatives. And while there’s still a long way to go, let’s celebrate the DEI marketing achievements of innovative and progressive brands around the world with this list of 13 top inclusive marketing campaigns in 2022:
1. Google’s “Black-Owned Friday” Campaign
In 2020, Google, the US Black Chambers, Inc., and advertising agency BBH joined forces to launch an initiative to turn Black Friday into Black-Owned Friday. And this year, the initiative lives on with “Buying All Black”, a video celebrating the third year of Black-Owned Friday. And there’s more, including a “Black-Owned” icon available for businesses on Google Search and Maps, additional resources for Black-owned businesses, and the ByBlack national business directory.
2. LEGO’s “A-Z of Awesome”
Inspired by the desire to use play to prompt open conversations about gender identity, sexual orientation, and gender expression, LEGO’s A-Z of Awesome campaign celebrates inclusivity, self-expression, and creativity. The campaign invites members of the LGBTQIA+ community to create the A-Z of Awesome alphabet by using LEGO bricks to design each letter, and to tell the world the stories behind their designs.
3. L’Oreal’s Transformation Initiative
For trans people, hair can be an incredibly transformative means of expressing their identity. But on the flip side, salons aren’t always a safe space for this crucial component of the transitioning process. In recognition of this, L’Oréal Professional Products, in partnership with the True Self Foundation, established the Transformation initiative, a network of beauty salons in Puerto Rico staffed by hair professionals specially trained to create a safe space that meets the needs of people in transition.
4. Amazon Alexa’s “What Is Love” Campaign
In this innovative campaign, Amazon partnered with Ad Council to ask people of different backgrounds to share what love means to them. The goal? To inspire people to take action through everyday acts of love and build a more inclusive community around them. Today, when you ask Amazon’s Alexa, “What is love?”, you’ll hear the voice of a real person sharing their experience of how an everyday act of love made them feel included.
5. The Bombas Pride Collection
Homelessness on its own is difficult enough, but for the 40% of homeless teens in the US who identify as LGBTQIA+, homelessness can also restrict your ability to express your true self through your clothing. The Bombas Pride collection addresses this challenge by donating an item of clothing for every item purchased from the collection, with the goal of providing identity-affirming clothing choices to homeless LGBTQIA+ youth.
6. Dove’s “As Early as Five”
Did you know that 1 in 5 Black children as young as five have experienced hair discrimination? The impact can have lasting effects, with Black children being forced to conform with school hair policies or risk losing educational opportunities. This year, as part of the CROWN Coalition it co-founded in 2019, Dove released the video “As Early as Five” as part of its ongoing initiative to drive change through the passage of laws nationwide to make hair discrimination illegal.
7. Virgin Atlantic’s “See The World Differently”
When was the last time you felt able to be unapologetically yourself? With its 2022 “See the World Differently” campaign, Virgin Atlantic decided to kick things up a notch after two challenging pandemic years for the travel industry, by championing the right of everyone—from its crew to its passengers—to be who they are. Or, as Lady Blackbird sings so beautifully in the brand’s colorful video ad, “I am what I am.”
8. Discover Puerto Rico’s Sustainable and Inclusive Vacations
Discover Puerto Rico’s innovative campaigns speak directly to visitors’ desires and expectations for sustainable and inclusive vacations: Whether you’re concerned about the environment and want to experience the world through sustainable travel, or you want a gay-friendly, diverse, and vibrant vacation, the Island of Enchantment has got you covered.
9. P&G’s “The Name”
“Belonging starts with a name.” But when people treat the proper pronunciation of your name with indifference or bias, that sense of belonging can be shattered. P&G’s video, “The Name” hopes to prevent this kind of othering that so many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders face daily in the US. And to help prevent pronunciation errors, the brand also offers an innovative name tool to accompany the campaign, so everyone can celebrate their names.
10. Visit Florida’s “Limitless Florida”
For people with disabilities or special needs, travel can come with a whole set of challenges that our more ableist culture often tends to dismiss. Enter Visit Florida’s inclusive “Limitless Florida” campaign, which provides travelers who have accessibility issues with the resources they need to get the most from their visit to the Sunshine State, including a virtual tour to help you practice your trip.
11. Shan International Foods’ #DifferentYetTogether
No matter what your background, the food of your childhood and your culture often has the power to soothe you when you most need that extra care. And with its #DifferentYetTogether video campaign, Shan International Foods highlights how food can bring people together to embrace their differences.
12. Men’s Wearhouse: “This is Our Prom”
For its prom promotion this year, Tailored Brands’ Men’s Wearhouse chose to showcase the diversity of today’s teen world in “This is Our Prom,” with the most diverse cast the brand has ever worked with. As CBO Matt Repicky notes, representation not only matters, it’s also necessary for engendering customer trust.
13. M&Ms “For All Funkind”: Meet Purple
As part of its ongoing “For All Funkind” campaign, M&Ms introduced Purple, its first new character in a decade. The optimistic, quirky, and authentic new candy star represents acceptance and inclusivity, and each time her song “I’m just gonna be me” is streamed, the brand will donate a dollar to the non-profit organization Sing for Hope.
Bonus: J&B Whiskey’s Holiday 2022
Our special bonus video: Published by J&B in December 2022, this video beautifully and eloquently sums up the powerful impact of inclusive marketing.
With such innovative inclusive marketing to inspire us in 2022, the new year can only bring on even greater strides in how brands around the world promote DEI and social good through their marketing. And with ShareThis’s Data for Good audience segments that are designed around key social issues, you can leverage our most valuable asset—our data—to align with like-minded audiences to create real change in the world.