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EMAC 2022 Annual

Racial Diversity in Advertising

Published: May 24, 2022


Nick Bombaij, University of Amsterdam; Sadaf Mokarram Dorri, University of Amsterdam; Mana Stutchbury, Gisou


Race is indisputably embedded in marketplace interactions and firmly intertwined with marketing communications. As societies become ever more diverse and globalization draws us closer to one another, racial inclusivity in all facets of society is paramount for successful communication and interaction. We set up a framework to investigate the effects of racial diversity in brand social media posts on a variety of consumers' engagement behaviors, and test this in an experimental setting. The results show that diverse social media posts and product-only posts result in the higher intention to engage, in contrast to Caucasian-only posts. Similarly, diverse social media posts had the most positive engagement, followed by product-only posts, with the lowest positive engagement for Caucasian-only posts. All relationships were all mediated by self-referencing such that higher self-referencing led to higher intention to engage and positive engagement, and lower negative engagement.