Which Ad Elements Might Capture Black Audiences’ Attention?

November 16, 2021
BCode Ad Elements Capturing Black Audience Attention Nov2021

Although the buying power of Black Americans has grown over the past couple of years, about 3 in 10 Black Americans feel that they are being ignored by the ad industry. And, while ad spend has continually been disproportionately low in targeting Black Americans, per a recent report from B Code, there are some elements that can be very impactful in grabbing the attention of this audience.

The majority of Americans, as a whole, say they do not feel like they are represented by the people they see in advertising. And, for Black Americans, representation of people like themselves in an ad is one of the elements most impactful in gaining their attention — cited by 72% of the more than 550 Black adults surveyed. Similarly, celebrity endorsement by someone from their ethnic or racial group (61%) and ads that feature an influencer from their ethnic or racial group (53%) can help gain their attention.

In order to make Black Americans feel more ethnically represented in ads, respondents cited several options — many of which correspond with the elements that will gain their attention. Among these elements are ads that are supporting an issue or cause important to their culture (56%), featuring stories of real people that are from their ethnic or racial group (53%) and the settings or context of an ad being clearly related to their culture (e.g. holiday celebration, room decorations or type of party; 51%). Others also say that including music or other art that is related to their ethnicity or racial group (50%) would make them feel more ethnically represented in an ad.

Other Highlights

  • More than half (53%) of respondents say that they are more likely to engage with an ad that is relevant to the surrounding content.
  • Likewise, 43% say that a culturally relevant ad is most effective on a culturally relevant website. 
  • While 54% of Black Americans say their identity should be protected online at all times, the same share (54%) consider ads that are targeted to them to be valuable.
  • Among options presented to them, the largest share of respondents prefer audio ads (26%), followed by video (17%) and interstitial (16%) ads.

About the Data: Findings are based on a March survey of 568 Black respondents.

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