Only a handful of companies are currently meeting customer expectations and talking about issues consumers’ care about – climate change and racial equity – resulting in an “authenticity gap”.
A 2021 FleishmanHillard study found 64% of consumers believe credible companies should talk about their behaviour and impact on society and the environment rather than just the benefits they offer. To attract customer attention and actively promote authenticity, companies should create a set of guidelines that avoid hate speech and racism and sexually explicit and violent content.
Marketers should create content that uplifts the voices of both actors and brands. Hire actors who identify with their roles of ethnicities, backgrounds or beliefs, rather than casting someone who can merely mimic a voice. Ensuring actor-character alignment can help marketers avoid risking projecting stereotypes and damaging their brand image.
Companies should pay more attention to character sketches and create a detailed character sketch of the role and the actor. They should also provide appropriate character reference material to avoid stereotypes. Additionally, phonetically write out uncommon words or jargon.
Brands should implement an unbiased review system and consider using tools like Textio, which uses machine learning and algorithm to identify words that could limit the candidate pool. Telling diverse stories through authentic actors can help brands amplify the lesser-heard voices and promote authenticity.
[5 minute read]