This whole episode raises the question, are diversity and inclusion two separate issues!? Like the cover of Vogue that featured AI-generated South Asian women as cover models? Not quite the same as actual models.
Diversity, Equality and Inclusion are issues that Gen Z supports. They see increased diversity as something that is good for the society. They think brands should embrace diversity. And they support the ones that do. For them, diversity is not just about race or religion but includes gender as well.
Gen Z is all about equality and ethics. Diversity for them includes all kinds of disabilities too. They are a mindful generation.
Against this backdrop, marketers must be very careful to craft their campaigns and messaging so they would appeal to these sensibilities in Gen Z. That is vital. Because they won’t hesitate to call you out if you appear to disrespect these sentiments in any way, or worse still boycott your brand and be very vocal about it.
This generation has grown up with inclusion and diversity and equality in all aspects of their lives and so expect – they even demand – that it be so. They won’t stand for any slight bending of the rules – the “we are inclusive, but we use AI-generated models to portray inclusive diversity” won’t work with them at all. They don’t do well with just lip-service.
They are the real deal. And they expect it from businesses and the brands that they favor.