The representation of phenotypic diversity in audiovisual advertising in Spain: professional perspectives and implications for the cultural dynamics of inclusion
Visual and audiovisual advertising is an influential social language that transforms representations of reality into cultural references, with direct implications for the perception of diversity. However, despite its impact on the fabric of society, few studies have tackled the representation of phenotypic variability in advertising by combining academic and professional perspectives on the phenomenon in Spain. Our study explores this matter through systematic data collection from 834 TV adverts, coding data on 359 on-screen characters, and in-depth interviews with 38 advertising professionals. The conclusions of the study show, among other findings: (a) the low level of phenotypic diversity in television advertising; (b) the under-representation of certain groups; and (c) the complexity of decision-making between clients and agencies, who have to reconcile risk aversion with the effectiveness required for any advertising campaign. This research can be of use for companies in the advertising sector (giving them improved knowledge of specific targets) and policymakers (by helping to promote better intercultural dynamics and the integration of minority groups).
Keywordsaudiovisual advertising, sociocultural representation, diversity, cultural dynamics of inclusion
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