October 18, 2021 | Share this article

Agency looks to help brands better connect with underrepresented audiences

In an effort to help advertisers better connect with underserved audiences, IPG Mediabrands is using inclusion analytics data from Nielsen-owned Gracenote.

Gracenote’s Inclusion Analytics data is designed to provide visibility into the gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation of the talent appearing in popular linear TV and streaming content. Gracenote’s metrics also quantify the visibility of starring cast members representing different identity groups, as well as the make-up of viewing audiences and how they compare to the general population.

In this way, Mediabrands is looking to help brands better reach key target audiences and deliver on their diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. The goal is to connect brands to entertainment content that represents and engages diverse audiences.

IPG Mediabrands is the first customer to sign on to use Gracenote Inclusion Analytics.

This comes as Madison Avenue has been under pressure in recent months to allocate more ad dollars to Black- and minority-owned media companies and shift media spending to platforms that more authentically reach diverse audiences.

To this end, Mediabrands agency Magna hosted its first so-called Equity Upfront to help raise the visibility of Black-owned and targeted media companies. The agency has also pledged to invest a minimum of 5% in Black-owned media channels in aggregate across all clients by 2023. WPP’s GroupM made a similar pledge, calling on its clients to invest at least 2% of their annual media spend in diverse and Black-owned media.

“One way we can contribute to a more representative and welcoming media and entertainment landscape is by supporting programming that presents diverse casts and content,” said Brian Hughes, executive VP, managing director, audience intelligence and strategy, Magna. “This mission begins with the data to analyze shows not only by viewership but also by how balanced casting is. Increasingly, advertisers want to invest in programming that reflects the values of their brands and equity-and-inclusion benchmarks are a key part of that.”