As marketers, communicators and small businesses engage customers during National Hispanic Heritage Month, iStock has today unveiled three tips to help businesses more authentically depict the Latinx community all year-round and to challenge harmful, cliched stereotypes that have persisted for decades.
According to iStock Visual GPS research, nearly 70% of people say it’s important that the companies they buy from celebrate diversity of all kinds. The data also reveals that 7 out of 10 people prefer to buy from brands who represent a lifestyle similar to theirs in advertising and communications.
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“At iStock, we understand the power of visual content to incite change, and we are passionate about breaking down the stereotypes of communities who have been erased or misrepresented for decades,” said Tristen Norman, Director of Creative Insights, iStock. “Visuals can have a tremendous impact on how people interact and engage with businesses, and our research shows that people want to see diverse and inclusive representations of the Latinx community in the advertising and marketing visuals that surround them.”
For businesses of all sizes seeking to build confidence with their audience(s), iStock has unveiled a series of tips to keep in mind when selecting inclusive visual content during National Hispanic Heritage Month and beyond:
- Move past harmful stereotypes: It’s important that communicators and marketers counteract misinformed tropes and stereotypes by selecting authentic visual content—images, video or illustrations—that accurately represent the Latinx community. Diverse imagery of the Latinx community is long overdue, and it’s critical that we continue this work to dismantle the stereotypes that have festered for too long in media and advertising.
– Are you actively representing Latinx people in ways that break or diminish stereotypes? Are you checking the ways settings, behaviors, expressions, clothing, etc. are depicted?
- Understand the nuanced intersectionality in the Latinx community: The Latinx community is one that is large and diverse, so it’s critical to intersectionally represent across all ages, genders, sexual orientations, ethnicities, abilities and body types. When looking to engage the community, it’s important for businesses to understand the nuanced differences between the cultures.
– Are you showing a person’s race/ethnicity alongside other intersections of their identity? (e.g., disabilities, gender identity or expression, age, etc.)
– Are you intentionally approaching representation of the Latinx community individually or lumping identities together?
– Are you showing a range of skin tones, facial features, hair textures, and authentically reflecting the diversity within the Latinx community?
- Tell complete, well-rounded stories that paint a real picture: It’s essential to avoid tokenism and, instead, showcase the lived experiences and perspectives of the Latinx community. Businesses can ultimately help achieve this goal by selecting visuals that show all aspects of Latinx people’s lives–with family and friends, at home, at work, celebrating and traveling. By making the commitment to improve representation all year-round, brands and businesses can hold themselves accountable and be part of inspiring change in making communities feel empowered and represented in society.
– Are you relying on “tokenism” and making a symbolic and/or minimum effort to depict the Latinx community?
– Are Latinx people featured in a variety of roles and professions (e.g., employer AND employee, different industries)? Are they displaying a variety of hobbies, interests or lifestyles?
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