Unilever's senior media director explains how fewer stereotypes lead to more effective marketing.

Ana Paula Duarta, Unilever senior media director/Brazil will champion the United Nations’ Unstereotype Alliance in a keynote address at the Festival of Media Latin America (FOMLA) early next month in Miami Beach.

Two-and-a-half years ago, Unilever came to the stage of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Advertising to announce an affiliation with UN Women, a UN entity that works for the empowerment of females.

The Alliance that partnership created set out to banish stereotypical portrayals of gender in advertising with a mission statement has attracted major advertisers, agencies, and tech companies:

Stereotypes are everywhere, we can’t escape them. It’s that unconscious bias we place on things before we even know it, that is why they can be harmful. As advertisers and creatives, we have the power to influence culture and society in a positive way. Today, we need to ensure creativity, whether in the advertising or content we create, shows people as progressive and modern, authentic and multi-dimensional. 

Last summer, Cannes Lions (like WARC, an Ascential company) gave further momentum to the Unstereotype Alliance with updated jury guidelines that urges the jury members reviewing Awards entries to consider whether the work perpetuates negative stereotypes and inequalities.

And, earlier this year, Brazil hosted the first national Alliance as the organization seeks to provide support for its global effort with country-by-country initiatives that will bring smaller, local advertisers to the program.

“I’m a media director,” Duarta told WARC, “so I'm involved in this topic. It’s a passion point for me, but not just because of the influence that we have as advertisers.” Gender equality and honesty, she insisted, “is not only external about communication, but also internal understanding.”

Duarta will provide FOMLA delegates with evidence that progressive advertising that accurately portrays  female and male identities accurately “have a 37% greater brand impact. And they're 28% more persuasive as well.

“So the message we bring to the  to the industry is that unstereotyped ads not only are only good for society, but they’re also good for the business.”

Sourced from WARC