Citi, the financial services provider, is infusing its commitment to driving female equality into marketing endeavours related to the music industry, a space where the brand is a significant player.

Jennifer Breithaupt, Citi’s global consumer chief marketing officer, discussed this subject at at the #SeeHer 2019 Creative and Media Leadership Summit.

“We will do over 8,000 events this year in music. We work with over 1,500 artists,” she said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Citi strikes a new note for inclusion in ads with “#SeeHerHearHer”.)

Beyond the cultural cachet that results from these tie-ups, Breithaupt has injected a clear sense of purpose into the brand’s music-led activity.

As a starting point, Citi participates in “#SeeHer”, an effort spearheaded by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) trade body and The Female Quotient, an advocate for workplace equality, to increase accurate portrayals of women and girls in ads and media.

On International Women’s Day 2019, Citi added an aural element to this mission with “#SeeHerHearHer”, a program that aims to tackle the under-representation of women in the music industry.

“Seventeen percent of artists are female,” Breithaupt explained to the New York assembly. “If you look at Grammy nominations, since 2008, [just] 9% are women.”

A few steps Citi has taken in translating the “#SeeHerHearHer” agenda into practice included an hour-long tie-up with NBC’s “Today” Show and introducing a mentorship program for women in the music industry.

Citi is also planning to activate its equality ethos via event sponsorship and in its ads. “You'll see us at our music festivals this year do a lot with this initiative, where Citi is already there as a brand,” Breithaupt said.

“And then, as a brand, we're making a commitment that we will look at music written by – and performed by – female artists to give them that help out the door.”

When agencies provide Citi with music ideas for ads, the goal is to receive a 50/50 split between male and female recommendations – a ratio that could apply to performers and songwriters alike.

Achieving that objective could even boost ad effectiveness: while more of the brand’s advertising in the last five years has involved music from men than women, Citi’s focus groups revealed that the same ad frequently performed better when using female, rather than male, vocals.

Sourced from WARC