New Research Reveals Stark Gap in Diverse and Inclusive Language Targeting on YouTube

Findings Reinforce Growing Need for Marketers to Prioritise Cultural Diversity and Language Inclusion with Advertising on Content-Heavy Platforms like YouTube

Channel Factory, the global brand suitability and ad performance platform for YouTube, has announced the results of recent research into inclusive advertising practices on YouTube. It has looked at the diverse range of languages spoken in the UK and consumer sentiment towards English-only advertising practices, which shows a real need for marketers to be more diverse and inclusive in their advertising campaigns.

The study has revealed that 81% of respondents live in bi-lingual homes, while 18% state English is not their native language. A further 29% speak at least one other language in addition to English in their home. In addition, 76% of respondents seek out content on YouTube as it offers more language choice; yet, 31% of respondents choose to ignore advertising on the platform mostly due to a lack of relevance to them, or because they are not run in the appropriate language. 

“If we are going to continue to help brands and advertisers drive performance in a more conscious way, we have to put cultural diversity at the heart of every campaign – to recognise that the English language is not a one size fits all solution for today’s global society,” says Rob Blake, UK MD of Channel Factory. “The ad industry needs to do more than just pay lip service if advertising is to remain relevant, engaging and interesting to the right audience at the right time.”

Channel Factory data shows that in the UK, of campaigns that have run throughout 2020 and 2021 to date, 72% of these targeted audiences in the English-only language. Yet, this study shows that 75% of respondents feel more likely to engage with brands whose adverts on YouTube are more relevant to the content they are consuming, while 66% say they are more likely to tune into advertising on the platform if it was run in the same language as the content they are consuming.

“It’s no secret that consumer sentiment is changing drastically right now, and we need to support and help today’s marketers to ensure their advertising strategy reflects this,” says Chrisa Chatzisavva, Partner and Head of Paid Social WW & UK at Mindshare. “This research shows us that the industry’s approach is completely outdated when it comes to audience diversity and language inclusivity, but also, fails to face the reality. By continuing to traditionally target audiences in the English language only, advertisers are neglecting a potentially huge audience base. But, even more importantly, we have to ask ourselves if we – as an industry – are doing enough to enable an accurate representation of the population.”

“People are not only more aware of what’s going on around them in the world right now – they are also, quite rightly, more vocal about social issues, local communities, and environmental sustainability,” commented Nick Graham, Client Partner at Infectious Media. “This sentiment needs to be reflected across every part of today’s successful businesses, from the objectives set in the boardroom all the way through to targeting and media choices within campaign planning. Everyone is accountable in ensuring today’s brands are representative of the communities they’re working with to create a more diverse and inclusive advertising ecosystem.”

The research, conducted by online market research platform Lucid, surveyed 1,000 UK residents between the ages of 18 and 65. Channel Factory commissioned the study as part of its wider Conscious Advertising Initiative, which aims to pull leading industry figures from brands and agencies together to promote a more responsible media ecosystem that drives diversity and inclusion to the top of the agenda with safe and suitable content, responsible creators and social sustainability. 

“Today’s consumer is savvy and decisive – what’s more, they care about social issues, local communities, and environmental sustainability,” commented Mattias Spetz, MD EMEA & APAC, Channel Factory. “This sentiment needs to be reflected across every part of today’s successful business right down to how brands reach, engage, and advertise to consumers. The industry has a responsibility to work together to create a conscious advertising ecosystem that supports diversity, equity, and inclusion with safe and suitable content, responsible creators, and social sustainability.”

The research also found that 87% of respondents watch TV in their native language, versus 30% who state that they watch YouTube content in their native language. In addition, almost half (40%) of respondents watch content on YouTube in subtitles. This data points to a very diverse audience consuming content in different ways and within various languages on YouTube. 

The findings are supported by previous research by Channel Factory that found that 69% of consumers prefer to buy from brands committed to socially conscious causes and 58% of consumers would stop watching a YouTube channel if they discovered the creator supported causes they don’t agree with. This being the case makes it more important than ever for brands to be aware of the wants and needs of their customers as businesses strive for success in this post-pandemic world.

Source: Channel Factory

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