Gender Equality in Advertising Results in Improved Reputation and Calls-to-Action

Posted by Angela Jeffrey on Jul 25, 2017 11:10:47 AM

The new imperative for advertisers and marketers is to impact Reputation and CTAs through gender equality in advertising.  Besides the social implications, gender equality is just good business.  Today's focus is how this plays out in Insurance Advertising.


Gender equality in advertising is the new "must do" for all marketers who need to impact brand reputation. In fact, ads that show people of all genders respectfully can contribute a +10% increase in Reputation and +26% increase in Call-to-Action scores. Both directly impact sales.

The new gender equality in advertising movement was launched at the White House last year. Sponsors included the ANA (Association of National Advertisers), AFE (Alliance for Family Entertainment), the Girls Lounge, ABX and top national advertisers. The #SeeHer initiative calls for a +20% in the accurate portrayal of girls and women in all advertising by 2020.

ABX created the first and only Gender Equality Index™ (GEI) to help marketers measure success on how they are presenting men, women and children in advertising. More than 17,000 ads were tested across media types and industries to develop this Index. 

So what do ads with good gender representation look like?  Over the coming months, you will see examples from each industry to help you see what works and help you avoid unconscious bias in your advertising.

Gender Equality in Advertising – Insurance

This week’s focus is on Insurance advertising since there’s some good material to work with. Here are three of the best-scoring gender ads.

1. Aflac – Keep Your Lifestyle Healthy

Gender equality in advertising is shown through this Aflac ad.pngAflac has done a great job representing Females with this top-scoring online video. A young lady breaks her ankle and doesn’t have the right insurance, so has many problems. The spot shifts to how good health coverage would have changed her experience. The actress could have been depicted as a klutz but instead was just a victim of circumstance. She is attractive, well-dressed, expressive, capable and popular.

The ABX Gender Equality Index for the Female is 113, or 13% above norm, and helped drive Reputation (+44%). The Call-to-Action score (+12% ) was good, but stronger for individual elements like Intent to Contact, Search the Web and Talk About the ad.

aflac advertising effectiveness scores.png

2. Farmers Insurance Group – “Even a Chauffeur Terrier

Great Farmers online video ad for both Males and Females.jpgThis 30-second online video is part of Farmers popular series, “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two." For gender equality in advertising, the Female character (+8% over norm) and Male (+15%) contribute to high Reputation (+79%) and Action (+26%).  Sub-scores show both Female and Male were presented Respectfully and as Role Models.

Advertising effectiveness scores for Farmers.png

3. Geico – “Great Motorcycle Great Rates

Geico TV spot with good gender equality.pngHere’s a cute approach for TV, presenting both Female and Male as super cool motorcyclists beneath a strong music track. The spot cuts to a promotional message with a very clean-cut Male pushing motor-cycle safety classes and insurance. He scored highest for gender equality in advertising, at +10%, but the Female also did fine at +6%.

Geico advertising effectiveness scores.png

Both Message and Reputation were strong, but specific Calls-to-Action had high scores for Intent to Contact (+77%) and Recommend (+37%).

Gender equality in advertising influences both Reputation and Action. Whether you are using a clean-cut young woman (Aflac), more mature characters (Farmers) or edgy, cool dudes (Geico), make sure they are presented as role models. Your brand will thank you.


Are you satisfied with how you are measuring advertising effectiveness?  Is it resonating through Awareness and Message, and having an impact on Reputation and Action?  ABX provides the largest normative database in the industry across all media types. On average you can improve your creative effectiveness by almost 20%

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