5 min read

Advancing equity and inclusion in advertising

Featured Image

In today's fast-paced and visually-driven world, advertising has become an integral part of our daily lives. It influences our decisions, shapes our perceptions, and even impacts our society as a whole via the images and messaging brands deploy. Which presents a massive responsibility for brands to get it right! And, spoiler alert, many haven’t been nailing it over the last few decades. Many have been creating ads in a bubble, to resemble how they see the world individually instead of how the world actually is: diverse. Or adopting diversity but practicing culture washing: casting commercials or shoots with diverse talent while not accurately portraying culture, background or unique values with a given audience. This is a symptom of a larger problem of brands running to the lowest common denominator of playing it safe by trying to use one asset that appeals to many different audiences instead of telling unique stories which connect to each type of customer and audience individually. It’s time for brands and marketers to get to know their diverse audiences and uphold their responsibility of representation within advertising.

Representation refers to the presence and portrayal of different groups of people in advertising. It encompasses various aspects such as race, gender, age, body type, and unique abilities. And brands and advertisers have a responsibility to accurately reflect the diverse communities they serve, ensuring that everyone feels seen, heard, and valued. By taking steps to be more inclusive, brands will create a culture that allows audiences to be seen, to be appreciated, and to be a part of a tribe that forms around brands, their lifestyle and brand purpose - the future of how we define a successful brand.

Ultimately, representation within advertising creative is not just an ethical imperative but also a smart business move. Brands that prioritize diversity and inclusivity are more likely to resonate with a broader audience, gain customer loyalty, and drive positive social impact.

  • 71% Said they were more likely to view the brand more favorably, want to learn more & remember the brand
  • 65% Indicated they were more likely to trust
  • 67% Of people are more likely to choose a brand with diverse representation in their ads
  • 69% Of consumers are more likely to purchase a brand after viewing ads with diverse representation 

*Source: PadSquad x Echelon Insights Creative Preference Study 2022

Representation within advertising creative is not just about ticking boxes or appearing politically correct. It goes beyond tokenism and requires a genuine commitment to inclusivity and equal representation. PadSquad is committed to extending our mission of inclusivity within the media landscape to advance fairness, equity & opportunity while helping brands amplify these values as well. We are doing this both internally and externally:

Our Company Ethos:

  • 65% female led management team
  • Talent pool that spans all ages, genders, and races
  • 90% Hispanic led creative design and development team

Media & Creative Tactics:

  • MBE site lists and precision targeting
  • Creative versioning for personalization and audience relevance 
  • Multi-language creative (Spanish, Chinese, etc) from our multilingual creative team

Case Study: Kia Seltos Interactive Video


In Q2 2023, Kia set out to drive awareness of the 2023 Kia Seltos amongst Hispanic consumers by leveraging unforgettable, high impact video advertising experiences. 

The campaign leveraged several bespoke video ad formats built exclusively for Kia in Spanish language. Each unit was built exclusively for Kia to speak directly to their Hispanic audience and successfully drove awareness and consideration for the brand.The Spanish language videos ran within Spanish-language content, and were also targeted to Spanish speakers across English content websites. Video formats included the SuperScapeVidScapeVvital, and more.

D&I blog images

The variety of rich video creatives were designed to drive performance from a multitude of angles – ultimately VCR, CTR and Engagement Rate benchmarks were ALL exceeded, proving the Hispanic audience took notice.

The Kia ads collectively drove a 14pt lift in aided awareness among adults 35-54, while the Vvital ad unit saw a 21pt lift in purchase consideration.


By shining a light on this incredibly important topic, we can create a dialogue that challenges the status quo and encourages positive change. It is essential for advertisers, marketers, and creatives to actively seek out diverse perspectives, experiences, and talents to bring authenticity and richness to their campaigns. Contact our team to learn more about making an impact with diversity and inclusion in your advertising. We’d love to help you undertake this effort that means so much to us here at the squad. 


Let’s connect