We’re inspired by our consumers to engage and take action in support of equality and inclusion. Brent Miller, Senior Director, Global LGBTQ+ Equality Program Leader at P&G, shares some of the insights and learning that inspired P&G Responsible Beauty’s 4R Framework to authentically connect with diverse consumers.
There’s no question advertising affects perceptions, culture, and ultimately how people see each other and themselves.
Growing up, I never saw myself represented in the media I consumed. The images that surrounded me were ones I didn’t identify with – every movie poster, advertisement and billboard depicted a lived experience that I not only didn’t relate to, but also subtly sent a message that I didn’t belong.
That’s why in my role as P&G’s first-ever Global LGBTQ+ Equality Program Leader, I make it a priority, year after year, campaign after campaign, to ensure we are accurately portraying all people in everything we do. It’s not only the way we can eliminate bias once and for all, but it’s also a way to signal to people within the LGBTQ+ community that they matter and are important.
If you can’t be seen, you can’t be heard.
As a company that reaches 5 billion people every day with our brands, and serves all humanity, P&G has a responsibility to use our voice and our reach to increase authentic visibility of the LGBTQ+ and other diverse communities. But our responsibility to and efforts for the LGBTQ+ consumer – just like every other consumer group – must not be bolted on. It must be sustained and baked in as part of our brand strategy.
With a massive cultural shift underway, the impact of the LGBTQ+ consumer has never been more important. The number of individuals identifying as LGBTQ+ is on the rise. While measuring the size of the market globally is challenging because of the vast differences in cultural norms, religious beliefs and legal restrictions, it’s clear that each generation has a successively larger LGBTQ+ population.
Yet, it’s an audience as brand builders that we understand very little about, and many brands and marketers have failed to understand and respond to this fast evolution. For P&G, leveraging our 4R Framework has helped us assess our brands’ inclusivity journeys and take the action needed to address relevance and resonance with diverse consumers for everything from product design to accurate representation to sustained and meaningful action.
We’ve made a meaningful start in better addressing the LGBTQ+ consumer in some parts of the company, particularly in Hair Care. On Pantene, we’ve introduced campaigns designed specifically with LGBTQ+ insights and with the LGBTQ+ consumer in mind, such as the I’m #BeautifuLGBTQ campaign in the U.S.; the Hair Has No Gender campaign in Europe and Canada; and Pantene Japan’s #PrideHair.
While these campaigns and others have been groundbreaking in many ways, it’s critical that this is part of the brand’s long-term strategy. Our teams across the world have led Pantene on a significant evolution to improve brand sentiment and drive household penetration. Starting by deeply engaging with LGBTQ+ consumers, they began to better understand their needs and the role of hair in their identity.
P&G’s journey to LGBTQ+ inclusion started nearly 30 years ago when P&G was one of the earliest Fortune 500 companies to include sexual orientation in its diversity statement in 1992. Over the years, we outwardly supported the LGBTQ+ community through events, programs and sponsorships. And more recently, we have increasingly included the community in mainstream – and LGBTQ+ specific – brand building.
While we can see progress in many areas, we still have a long way to go. But we firmly believe that the more brands and businesses can meaningfully engage in supporting equality, the better our world will be.
This belief is the foundation of P&G and GLAAD’s The Visibility Project, a new campaign to drive and sustain LGBTQ+ inclusion in ads and marketing, and to leverage the power of these mediums to accelerate LGBTQ+ acceptance. Together with GLAAD, P&G will chair a council of companies committed to increasing LGBTQ+ visibility in advertising and media.
Not a day goes by that I’m not grateful to work for a place that encourages us to put equality and inclusion into action. If we can make an impact in just one person’s life because they see themselves in the world, it’s all worth it.
To find out more about the insights and drivers behind the 4Rs framework, please listen to a special podcast from Global Cosmetic News.
To learn more about P&G’s commitment to LGBTQ Inclusivity, visit https://us.pg.com/lgbtq-visibility/.