CreativeX’s "Gender in Advertising 2023 Report" revealed that gender-inclusive representation in advertising has taken a step backward, with a return to more frequently depicting women in traditional domestic roles.
To explore how gender and advertising intersect, CreativeX utilized its artificial intelligence (AI) technology to analyze 10,885 ads from leading CPG, Healthcare, Food and Beverage and Alcohol brands in 2021 and 2022.
Despite women being featured more often than men in advertising, 57.3% compared to 42.7%, how they are represented showed a decline in inclusive advertising. In 2022, men were cast 73% in professional roles while women were cast 46% more in domestic roles.
According to the report, ad spending on advertising representing women in professional roles fell by 35% last year.
Additionally, women with darker skin tones were featured 80% less than women with light skin tones, highlighting another way that inclusive advertising is falling flat.
The results of the CreativeX report also presented the question of what was causing this negative shift in representation. According to the non-profit She Runs It, the number of women working in the advertising industry between 2021 and 2022 fell by 24%, indicating that a lack of women in the workplace was reflected in advertisements.
While representation in ads could seem like an obsolete topic, a study of 2.7 million YouTube ads by the Geena Davis Institute found that “women-led and gender-balanced videos yielded 30% more views.”
A Unilever study also found that 66% of consumers believe that ads have the power to change the world, an opportunity for positive change that should be utilized to its full potential.