New research from YouTube posits that although black millennials represent an increasingly important viewership demographic on its platform, they are being underserved by today’s advertising industry.
In a blog post written in honor of Black History Month, YouTube’s global director of diverse marketing, Oona King, notes that, in 2014, “African Americans made up only 5.8% of the ad industry [workforce]” — this despite the fact that millennials, arguably the most important demographic in marketing today, “are the most diverse generation in our nation’s history.”
Consequently, YouTube has partnered with market research company Ipsos and measurement firm Nielsen to better understand what black millennials want to see in ads. Three-quarters of those surveyed, King writes, want to see more diverse representation, while 70% say they are more likely to buy from a brand that takes a stance on race. “In other words,” she writes, “don’t just reflect society — push it forward.”
In terms of mobile viewership, black millennials watch “substantially” more YouTube than other demographic — 73% more per person than the general population of the same age. Perhaps, King writes, this is “because they feel represented there in a way they don’t in traditional media.” In order to help brands seize this unique opportunity, YouTube surveyed some of the creators involved with its #YouTubeBlack initiative, which seeks to support and encourage diversity on YouTube, about some of their thoughts for best practices moving forward.
“We’re black and hispanic. We’re gay. We’re women. And most importantly: We’re parents,” says Denise Nunez of the family vlogging channel OliviaHas2Moms. “This generation wants to see more diverse families like ours in parenting ads. Fewer and fewer families in America identify with a straight white mom and dad.”
Adds beauty creator Whitney White, aka Naptural85: “We’re not all one shade of black. We have so many different skin colors…We notice when advertisers go the extra mile to acknowledge that.” White also suggests that if marketers are using slang terms, it can be wise to “check your script with a YouTube creator” to make the conversation feel more authentic.
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