On The Future of Authentic Brand Content Creation
(Original article by Alex Semenzato)
Ello recently launched its PRIDE community in partnership with Talenthouse and London's Soho House, which showcased 6 of the submitted works in "Diversity Inks" on September 5th. Read on to learn about how more and more forward-thinking brands are embracing diversity:
With more than 60% of Gen Z consumers supporting brands that take a stand on issues they believe in personally; more brands than ever are embracing diversity in their marketing and brand campaigns.
Talenthouse, the world’s largest creative collaboration platform hosted a breakfast panel discussion at Soho House in London on September 5th, which also included a curation of six pieces of LGBTQ+ inspired art from creators within the Talenthouse community. The topic of discussion focused on the pillars of diversity, particularly within the LGBTQ+ community, and how global brands can create content that authentically represents and engages these communities to help influence change. Talenthouse Co-Founder, Maya Bogle, LGBTQ+ Consultant, Josh Fletcher, and Head of Brand and Commercial at Gay Times, Tag Warner, were amongst the panel.
(image below left/right Josh, Maya, Tag)
The discussion focussed initially on how LGBTQ+ representation has transformed in a short space of time. Only a few years ago, the visuals were stereotypical, oiled-up, topless men with six-packs who were used to represent the gay community. However, the panel acknowledged this as something to be seen as relatively old fashioned, and quickly turned to examples of how major organisations/brands have set out to celebrate diversity in a far more rich, authentic and deep-rooted way. Examples ranged from the Channel 4 “Superhuman” campaign for the 2012 Summer Paralympics, to McCain’s Chips running a TV advertisement depicting a gay couple and their child in their family home.
Following on from this, there was a general consensus amongst all panel members that the route to true success in representing diversity is via authentic storytelling. The transactional, tick-box mentality is no longer effective for brands. Brands plastering rainbows over their latest products as soon as Pride Week rolls around in order to tap into LGBTQ+ audiences is no longer enough, and measuring the success of brand campaigns through their complex and sensitive approaches to diversity is now something to be seen as a measurable KPI. Another issue facing brands, and the creative industries in general, is the representation of the LGBTQ+ community in the production of ideas and creative.
Artworks - (left) 'New Madonna' by @vakseen (mid) 'To build the self a body' by @jdecasta - '(right) 'Valentine' by @dervinbatarlo
This is where tapping into global communities to source raw, cut-through content comes into play in the industry. Instead of a group of “straight, white men” creating content for people of colour within the LGBTQ+ community, a creative platform such as Talenthouse can provide brands access to content that has been created by a diverse group of people, for example an illustration from a transgender person to authentically depict the transgender campaign. This is something that was touched upon within the discussion, as a means of cutting out the tokenism approach to advertising campaigns, and moving on to developing real brand advocates from within LGBTQ+ communities in order to provide authentic, cut-through and diverse representation.
'The Two of Them' 2017 - Photograph by @markaghatise
Ultimately, the importance of brands normalising diverse representation within their marketing campaigns is something that really hit home throughout the discussion. Global brands have a responsibility to authentically represent and tell the stories of people from all walks of life, and it seems fair to contend that it is becoming increasingly transparent when brands jump onto the bandwagon of diversity. Rather than using diversity as a “bolt-on” tactic, the importance of ensuring that real, compelling, and representative content is fully integrated into marketing strategies is what is needed to normalise LGBTQ+ representation; ultimately solidifying a shift in advertising, where it is commonplace to celebrate diversity both within specific communities and as a whole.
Identifying this need within the industry for brands and agencies alike, Talenthouse a global platform and community of 1.4M creators across 175 markets has now launched ‘Talenthouse Collective’. The aim is to curate global creators who identify and/or support the individual pillars of diversity. When a brand/agency is looking to target this demographic in a marketing campaign they can share the brief with the relevant community of creators and know they will receive safe representation and authentic content.
Stay tuned for more exciting showcases from this community.