Study uncovers some of the problems around gender representation in YouTube advertising across different verticals
Share this post
The research, which was completed by Google and the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, found that:
- The speaking time for female characters in YouTube ads was just 40 per cent, meaning men were heard 1.5 times more often.
- Of the 2.7 million videos analysed by Google’s algorithms, male characters were seen 56 per cent of the time, compared to 44 per cent for females.
- Despite the imbalance in terms of representation, the research found that when it came to effectiveness, there is a demand for inclusive content.
- Women-led and gender-balanced videos yielded 30 per cent more views than other videos.
Other findings include:
When looking at advertising sectors individually, the research found that female characters were present:
- 28% of the time in automotive ads
- 29% in business and industrial ads
- 33% in education and government ads
- 52% in health care ads
- 58% of the time in retail ads
- 55% in consumer packaged goods ads
Gender bias in advertising is comounded by age bias: Female characters are more likely to be in their 20s and 30s in ads, while male characters are shown across age groups. Globally, male characters are an average of four years older than female characters in ads. Also, over the five years examined, the average age of female characters stayed relatively consistent while male characters got older.