Comedians like Jerry Seinfeld and Bill Burr bemoan the politically correct climate of late, but according to most Milllennials we aren’t going far enough. Gone are the days of the token casting in entertainment and advertising. Millennials are far more culturally diverse than previous generations, and they want to see that reflected back to them. Whitewashing continues to get called out, and backlash always ensues. These days, however, diversity includes more than just race.
Sexuality, gender, size and disabilities are the new normal when it comes to inclusiveness. Brands that embraced same-sex images in their marketing have benefited from viral reactions–some negative, yes, but most are overwhelmingly positive. Having people discuss your brand is always great unless it’s a full-on media meltdown–which, in the current climate, is more likely to happen if you are insensitive. The fact is, with transgender TV stars, Downs syndrome runway models and plus-size pin-up girls, the definitions of diversity have widened significantly in the past few years.
Many Millennials were raised in fairly PC and open-minded households and school programs. Now they are growing up and starting their own families. As we’ve seen, each generation likes to put its own stamp on things, and they are throwing open the gates of acceptance. They are educated about bullying and are invested in raising their own children to be non-judgmental. The rise of stay-at-home dads, single-parent households and interracial and same-sex marriages is not only expanding the idea of a nuclear family, but it is also pushing the need for more comprehensive messaging.
Is your product, service or brand ready to embrace the new normal? Inclusiveness and diversity are more than fads or trends; they represent a cultural shift.