FRIDAY 28 MAY 2021 11:02 AM


iStock data reveals a 20% annual increase in searches for ‘Ramadan’ visuals and an 80% increase in searches for ‘Eid Mubarak’ in the UK, as businesses look to increase visual diversity in advertising campaigns.

iStock is a global source of visual content offering small to mid-size businesses and individuals high quality stock photos and visual content. UK businesses were found to increase searches for visual representation of the Muslim community between 2019 and 2020, as iStock reported a 77% increase in searches for ‘Muslim Family’ visuals.

Jacqueline Bourke, director of creative Insights, EMEA at iStock says, “It is reassuring to see an increase in UK businesses using Ramadan as a time to celebrate their Muslim customers and tailoring their campaigns to visualise this community. We know that increasing representation can have a tremendous impact on fighting stereotypes, celebrating diversity, and making communities feel empowered and represented in society.”

However, simply increasing visual representation can be viewed as a tokenistic and temporary effort. iStock data shows that 4 in 5 consumers expect brands to be consistently committed to diversity and inclusion. Further research from iStock’s Visual GPS shows 80% of people globally say it is not enough to include ethnic diversity in business visuals.

To authentically represent diversity and inclusion in visual content, Bourke shares key tips for businesses to consider when creating campaigns. To ensure no customer segment is excluded, Bourke points to seven community characteristics to consider: race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, bodies, ability, age, and religion.

Avoiding tokenism is key and campaigns should aim to tell a consistent story of diversity throughout the year, not just at the time of key religious or cultural events. Bourke encourages brands to be inspired by real life through listening to customers and representing the multidimensional aspects of their lives.