Launched to coincide with International Women’s Day, the company explained in a statement that the new tool is designed to evaluate “whether the ad’s content reinforces harmful gender stereotypes of women and men”.
Examples include ads that objectify people’s bodies or show certain occupations or roles being more suitable for a particular gender, such as women as homemakers and men as engineers or scientists.
The new feature is incorporated within the UnrulyEQ Max content testing solution and uses a “traffic light” system to score ads on their suitability.
In addition, the tool uses facial coding and survey responses from both men and women to test to what extent an ad’s content reinforces gender stereotypes.
If respondents perceive the stereotypical aspects of an ad to be negative, then the ad is given a red in the traffic light system.
“How can the ad industry hope to engage consumers when what it presents is not an accurate, authentic portrayal of gender roles in the 21st century?” asked Cat Jones, Unruly’s global SVP of data.
“Our new stereotype analysis will help advertisers unstereotype their video campaigns and create content that engages consumers,” she added.
Meanwhile, Unruly CEO Sarah Wood said: “We hope Unruly’s stereotype analysis tool, which identifies male as well as female gender stereotypes, will provide an early warning system for 21st century brands that want to move on from the outdated gender stereotypes that alienate their customers and threaten to undermine the reputation of their brand.”
Unruly’s initiative comes after recent research from JWT New York and The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media suggested the ad industry is guilty of “forgetting about women”.
The study, which analysed more than 2,000 films from Cannes Lions, revealed that men were 62% more likely to be shown as smart, while one-in-three men was shown to have an occupation compared to one-in-four women.
Sourced from Unruly; additional content by WARC staff