How to Beat Stereotypes by Seeing People as Individuals

A stereotype is an overgeneralized belief about a particular group or class of people. In another word, by stereotyping, it is inferred that a person has a large range of characteristics and abilities that it is assumed all members of that group have.

For example, if we say that “ Men are strong and like the work hard “ or “All women like to cook and clean”, this will be also stereotyping.
So at this point, we all think that whether the stereotype is bad If it is bad, why do ads still use stereotypes in their campaigns? Of course, there are some advantages of stereotypes. For instance, it enables us to find answers rapidly to situations by using similar experiences before. To show you what I mean, let’s look at the example; Using blue colors in ads to create a “masculine scene” is the most common technique and we do not need any “Aha moment” to find different ideas. So if I do like pink or purple color rather than blue, then which segment will I be on? The answer is easy, I should not like pink or purple colors vis-à-vis the ad. That is to say, I will be ignored.

Using stereotypes makes us ignore differences between individuals; therefore we think things about people that might not be true (i. make generalizations).

In the digital world ( especially in marketing), being stuck on the stereotype is more risky behavior because of neglecting certain groups.

In the 1920s, The phrase “always a bridesmaid, never a bride” originates from the Listerine ad campaign !. The quote of the brand refers to “Listerine antiseptic stop bad breath”. The ad implied that “ all women need to marry with a strong man for this reason you women must look like stunning without bad breath”. We can say that this is the worst stereotyping ever….

“ADVERTISING HELPS US AS CONSUMERS AND CITIZENS UNDERSTAND THE SOCIAL WORLD AND OUR PLACE WITHIN IT”

The effect of Stereotypes on Gen-Z/ Zoomers e-commerce

If we look at the Gen Z Trends & Insights (published by think with google Turkey January 2021),

-Gen Z is now 23% of the total population in Turkey, with almost 20M people between the ages of 10–24. (49% female, 51% male) and defined as the young generation by TUİK, the population between the ages of 15–24 is almost 13M. Compared to European Union, Turkey has a relatively young population.

In Turkey, Gen-Z is one of the most powerful consumer forces in the market nowadays, and their combined estimated spending power of $143 billion annually. Looking at the statistics, it is obvious that brands have to take Gen-Z’s opinion into account when creating ads’ campaigns.

So What should brands do so as to gain respect from Zoomers?

Gen Z look to brands to “walk the walk,” not just “talk the talk”…

To gain respect and loyalty from Gen-Z, brands must show their commitments and create a business model that is built on sustainability, equality, and acceptance. It is obvious that equality and acceptance are also based on not-being stereotypes, brands must pay regard to stereotypes to catch the attention of Gen -Z.

Facebook Tech team published a study about gender-based issues of Stereotypes

Outcomes of qualitative and quantitative methodologies were conducted to provide insights into the research questions in this research. ( Survey of 1,200 consumers, an analysis of more than 1,000 Facebook video ads, and a review of more than 1,200 brand lift studies by Fernanda de Lima Alcantara in Facebook Research about Data scientist.)

According to the results of a study published by Facebook Tech in collaboration with the Geena Davis Institute, online advertising contains restrictive and stereotyped depictions.

The analysis results showed that these gender-based issues of stereotypes:

  • Women are 14.1 times more likely than men to be shown in revealing clothing, 6.9 times more likely to be visually or verbally objectified, and 6.1 times more likely to be shown in a state of partial nudity. Moreover, women are 4.8 times more likely than men to be shown as very skinny, reinforcing unrealistic expectations of women’s bodies. This enhanced attention on women’s bodies rather than on their full persons can reinforce the perception of women as objects (Nussbaum, 1995).

To sum up everything that has been stated, due to Stereotype

  • Consumers demand more diversity, equality, and inclusion in advertising from brands. It is obvious that firms that make these efforts are more likely to earn Consumers’ loyalty.

Brands should be aware of existing stereotypes. By moving away from restricting and negative preconceptions and boosting the diversity of people depicted in ads, the Internet advertising industry has a significant opportunity to make campaigns more inclusive, empowering, truthful, and effective.

References ;

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Boun MSC.- Metu / Digital Services Growth & Data Analyst @Turkcell for more; https://www.linkedin.com/in/mehmetemrecetiner

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Emre Çetiner

Emre Çetiner

Boun MSC.- Metu / Digital Services Growth & Data Analyst @Turkcell for more; https://www.linkedin.com/in/mehmetemrecetiner

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