Gender, Age Skews in TV & Video Ads Are Global in Nature

May 18, 2023

A tendency for TV and video ads to skew towards male, White, and young people has been reported in recent research covering video creative in North America. Now, Extreme Reach is out with another report [download page] that broadens the analysis to the UK, Europe and beyond, finding that similar patterns apply on a global level.

The research is based on an analysis of 2 million creative assets deployed publicly to linear and digital destinations around the world from 2019 through 2022. Before proceeding, it’s important to note that that the report says “It should be recognized that this analysis only reports on the visual and audio detection of identifiable characteristics. We acknowledge that we cannot analyze, and therefore do not attempt to report on, how an individual may identify in ways that differ from visual and audio detection.”

The results found that ads overwhelmingly feature youth. In North America, people under the age of 40 comprise a whopping 86.3% share of cast members, and that figure is consistent across the UK (87.1% share), Europe (88% share), LATAM (85.4% share), ANZ (84.7% share), and Central & South Asia (90%), among other regions. In fact, in each of the 9 regions identified, 20-39-year-olds comprise at least three-quarters of cast members in TV and video ads.

Of note, though, kids (0-19) are representing a gradually declining share of cast members in ads over time in the UK and Europe, with adults ages 40-59 slowly adding to their representation.

Finally, a strong gender gap persists. Despite males accounting for less than half of the population in 7 of the 9 global regions, they represent the majority of cast members and voices heard in 8 regions, with East & Southeast Asia the lone exception. In the UK, where males represent 49.4% of the population, they occupy 59.9% of cast roles and 64.2% of voices heard. In Europe, where they are 48.2% of the population, they account for 56.2% of cast roles and 66% of voices heard.

The biggest gaps are in LATAM, where males account for 75.7% of voices heard, and in Sub-Saharan Africa, where they comprise 73.2% of cast roles.

For more, check out the study here.


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