I was recently asked whether companies and agencies should include diversity in all of their visuals. My response was that diversity exists every day and in every way, so why not?

But this brings up deeper questions that marketers need to ask themselves. Questions like:

  • Why are your visuals so one-dimensional now?
  • What makes you hesitant about showcasing different communities?
  • Have you thought about your audience and whether you’re creating visuals that will invite them in?
  • Or are you just looking to add a splash of diversity to look relevant and avoid getting called out?

Nobody wants to be tokenized when it comes to seeing images of their community in the media. People are looking for authentic representations of their true lifestyles and cultures. That means the way people look in your creative is just as important as what they’re doing, who they’re doing it with and where it’s happening.

So, if your plan is to throw a BIPOC model into the mix or run through a diversity checklist each time you pick photos for a campaign, piece of content or marketing collateral, stop and think again.

Nobody said inclusive marketing was going to be easy. It takes effort and commitment to change the way we’ve approached visual storytelling for decades (centuries even).

Not sure where to start?

Check out my guide to choosing authentic visuals that represent the world around us.

A beautiful dark-skinned black woman in a colourful printed shirt is smiling with her eyes closed as she looks up to the sun. Photo by Miguel Bruna.
Guide to Inclusive Stock Photography