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Diversity Behind the Camera Matters, Too!

There is a high rate of people feeling like they are misrepresented in marketing campaigns, especially if they are from a marginalized identity/underrepresented community. This is the feeling, and product, of being tokenized for the sake of diversity.

For example, the BIPOC community is wary of trusting brands who say that are behind diversifying outdoor spaces, but do little to actually contribute to sustainable change. There needs to be an intentional effort to ensure that the storytelling process and marketing campaign is accurate, representative, and non-extractive.

The following are some explanations for why you should intentionally build a team that includes diverse talents behind the camera too.

  1. Equitable media demands more than just featuring diverse faces in front of the camera; it necessitates involving stakeholders (people from your target audience) in the creative process. This includes having diverse photographers, creative directors, or consultants who can provide invaluable insights and ensure that narratives are portrayed accurately and respectfully. The point is to have someone, a stakeholder, in a position of trust to redirect things if needed.

  2. Who stands behind the camera profoundly influences how individuals in front of it feel and behave. It impacts their ability to express themselves authentically and showcase their vulnerabilities. Cultivating a positive relationship between the creative team and models/subjects is crucial, especially when narratives are deeply personal or intimate.

  3. Unfortunately, the pervasive "white gaze" often distorts the portrayal of BIPOC individuals in outdoor media. We are captured through a lens that caters primarily to white audiences, overlooking the nuanced experiences and perspectives of BIPOC communities. This can perpetuate a cycle of misrepresentation and reinforces harmful stereotypes.

  4. Code-switching is a reality for many marginalized individuals. It's a coping mechanism developed to navigate predominantly traditionally white/cis/male spaces by toning down cultural identities and conforming to dominant norms. In media, this can translate into sanitized portrayals that fail to resonate with the target community.

As a creative committed to authentic representation, I understand the importance of diversity behind the camera. It's not just about checking boxes or virtue signaling—it's about amplifying diverse voices, challenging dominant narratives, and fostering genuine connections with audiences. By prioritizing inclusivity and equity in outdoor media campaigns, brands can forge deeper connections with consumers and contribute to a more just and representative media landscape.

So, when considering who should be behind your next marketing campaign, remember the power of diversity and authenticity. I'm here to help your brand navigate the complexities of equitable outdoor media and ensure that your message resonates with diverse audiences authentically. Let's work together to create impactful campaigns that celebrate the richness of human experience and inspire positive change.


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