What Advertisers Can Learn from the Oscars

As the 90th Academy Awards proved, a conversational shift is in the making. Host Jimmy Kimmel didn’t just acknowledge the #TimesUp and #MeToo movements, Harvey Weinstein, or lack of equal pay within the industry — these issues were central to the entire show. Actors Lupita Nyong’o and Kumail Nanjiani made reference to being “Dreamers,” and the winner of the best foreign film, “A Fantastic Woman,” brought transgender equality to the forefront.

In other words, this push towards diversity and inclusion is here to stay. And advertisers have taken note. Walmart and Samsung capitalized on the moment by including Dee Rees, the first African-American woman to be nominated for best adapted screenplay, and cinematographer Rachel Morrison, the first female cinematographer to ever be nominated, in a spot during the show. Rolex’s “Art of storytelling” ad featured directors Kathryn Bigelow and Alejandro G. Iñárritu reflecting on how film transcends demographic and cultural differences.

Inclusion, diversity, equality — these values are not new to us at Ovia Health. Our products were built with everyone in mind. And these values are in our work every day. For example, we have three brand guidelines that make us unique:

First, images have to be real.

We do not use overly edited, unrealistic representations of women, babies or families. Women want to see images of people, families, and other women they can connect with— and these were the types of ads that received the most buzz after the Oscars. Women have more purchasing power than ever before and are still largely underrepresented (or worse, marginalized) in much of the advertising world, so advertisers should ensure they are using images that speak loudly and clearly to this audience.

Second, celebrate diversity and inclusion.

Our audience reflects the U.S. population, so we strive to use language that includes everyone. One easy way advertisers can make a huge impact is by removing “husband” and “wife” from communications and instead start using the term “partner.” We use this language internally in our office and on our platform, and it acts as a grand equalizer. The message, “You are supported and accepted as you are,” is powerful and effective.

Third, be human.

We don’t talk down or use vague colloquialisms. We don’t make unsubstantiated product claims. We do speak in a humanizing tone, one that’s part good friend, one that’s part clinical. We lead with empathy — no two fertility, pregnancy or parenting journeys are ever the same. We celebrate our users’ successes and support them in tough times.  

We feel we’ve been part of a movement that’s just now gaining some attention. And that’s not going to stop. If you’re an advertiser looking to get in on the conversation, consider adopting some of these practices. We know that brand building is a marathon, not a sprint.

Check out some of the great Oscar ads from this year here, and to learn more about Ovia Health and our advertising insights, click here