In a media organization, deeply understanding multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusion; calls for everyone to be on board.
Diversity and Inclusion are relevant topics that seem to be on everyone’s radar in today’s society. At the same time, we see more grassroots and entertainment celebrations of all kinds of cultures—types of families, ranges of abilities, and more. We routinely hear from consumers that media is a conversation-starter in families, a way to broach topics that might be hard or awkward to bring up organically. Getting a handle on social and cultural topics of interest is not always an easy task for corporations, and confusion can prosper in an organization when the very makeup of its customer base is rapidly changing and constantly being challenged by social forces.
When a global media company known for its history in entertainment and content creation sought to foster a better understanding of these issues among its mid and top leadership, they realized textbook definitions were not the right answer. The company needed powerful stories told directly by their customers, in their own modern vocabulary, about the pride in their culture, their challenges, and the way they currently see themselves represented in media. The organization wanted to walk a mile in their shoes and successfully update and embed the precepts of multiculturalism, diversity, inclusion, and representation throughout the leadership and creative teams.
Immersed in a hyper-competitive and fast-moving industry, the client company was looking to stay ahead of the curve and remain relevant to audiences of diverse backgrounds. While marketing organizations and content creators within the company had historically treated representation with an anchored view on race and ethnicity, they needed to look beyond the skin color, country of origin, and language as it had become an imperative as diversity has become the norm in the marketplace. This means looking beyond ethnicity to a more inclusive viewpoint around gender, LGBTQ, and other qualities that make audience members gloriously diverse.
Adding a layer of complexity to the research objectives, while the client wanted a deep and robust understanding of the topics, they needed a fast turnaround as they worked towards presenting valuable insights at a key leadership meeting that was taking place very soon.
The C+R team developed a research and exploration plan to help our client get a deep and better understanding of how audiences feel about representation in media, what it looks like now, and what they could do to in the future to stay ahead of the curve in depicting characters the way viewers want to see themselves reflected.
Through the qualitative research plan and creative exercises developed by C+R, the research team helped unearth, in deep detail, various consumer interpretations of diversity and representation in media, as well as key indicators of what makes content meaningful for diverse audiences.
Our research plan helped bring to life the stories and expectations of diverse audiences and provided the client with guidelines for the creation of profound empathy among diverse audiences through entertainment.
Through the research, our client was able to successfully and authoritatively make a case for redefining multiculturalism and representation throughout the company’s ranks, proving that diversity goes beyond race and language.
Most powerfully, we reaffirmed that media and entertainment are powerful tools for multicultural and diverse audiences, not only in creating a sense of fairness, but also in helping seed and develop empathy, tolerance, curiosity, pride, and self-esteem in their children.
Based on the learnings from the study, our client was able to quickly socialize valuable insights into the company’s leadership via video deliverables that included confessional clips and a fully-developed video report.
According to the client, the presentation was a big success and generated much positive feedback and conversations within the company. It’s particularly satisfying for us to be able to contribute to the success of the project.
The research design included an Online Digital Immersion and Qualitative Video Journaling, with parents and their children, to deeply and broadly explore audiences’ views of multiculturalism, diversity, inclusion, and representation.
We began by getting a diverse set of consumers to tell us about their realities and views on the topics at hand. To ensure a robust generation of insights through a series of exercises to yield a comprehensive understanding of the topic, we recruited a diverse sample set, including:
- Non-Hispanic whites,
- African Americans,
- Asian Americans,
- Bi-racial households,
- Same gender families, and
- Parents of children with special cognitive and physical abilities and needs.
Over five days, we interviewed over 50 parent-kid pairs and captured their thoughts on multiculturalism, uncovering what their visions of authentic inclusion and representation in everyday life as well as in children’s media.
C+R’s research design allowed the client to closely follow consumers’ opinions while leveraging a solid set of research tools that helped elicit candid and passionate responses. We utilized a digital video platform so that clients could watch and listen in real time as respondents shared their perspectives, feelings, and desires. This helped accelerate the insights generation timeline, meeting one of the core needs of agile timing for the study.
Video Journaling provided the client with a powerful tool to bring multicultural consumers’ realities to life in a medium that made socialization and embedment through the organization salient and memorable.
We try to make all of our intergenerational and multicultural research projects into celebrations of the target respondents. This methodology proved particularly successful in meeting that goal; participants found the experience fulfilling and useful in continuing family conversations around acceptance.