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Diversity Is Not Charity

Barack Obama’s talk at Dreamforce with Salesforce co-CEO Marc Benioff included words of advice for the tech industry. “A lot of times, the best answers we got were not from all the people with the most important titles or in the inner circle chairs — it was the people on the wall,” Obama said. “I figured out fairly early, those are the folks who are actually doing the work. He went on to say that “we all have blind spots, which is why diversity is not charity. It is not something you do — if you’re in a business right now, and you’ve got no African-American or Latino, Asian-American — if you don’t have diversity around that table you are missing a market, you’re misunderstanding.” [Source]


Recruiters should continue to place emphasis on attracting a diverse talent force, which will in turn create better businesses, according to the former President of the US. Do you have a diverse team in ethnicity? Gender? Sexuality? Education? Physical ability? Age? Nationality? If yes, do they all have a voice? Giving them the mic is not charity, or simply “the right thing to do,” it’s ensuring success in the market.

Muhammad Makes Top 10 List Of Baby Names In The US

The parenting website BabyCenter released its annual list of 100 most popular baby names for girls and boys in the United States, and for the 10th year in a row, Sophia is at the top. Almost all of last year’s top-10 darlings are still favorites this year, with a few exceptions. Revealing a rise in Arabic names, Muhammad and Aaliyah made the top 10 for the first time, replacing Mason and Layla. Outside of the US, Muhammad is considered the most popular name in the world, and UK news site Independent says it is “given to an estimated 150 million men and boys.” [Source]


Speaking of diversity not being charity, this baby name factoid punctuates the need for more diverse representation in media. A study conducted by UK think tank, Advertising Association (AA), concluded that more than half, 53%, of the UK’s black, Asian and minority ethnic population say they prefer to purchase from brands they feel “meaningfully” represent their culture. When was the last time you watched a Facebook ad or saw a print ad featuring someone named Muhammad? [Source]

Pandora Tests Ads That Users Can Talk To

Pandora is testing a new advertising format that allows listeners to respond to ads by speaking aloud. In the new ads, listeners are prompted to say “yes” after the ad asks a question and a tone plays. The ads will then offer more information. Brands testing this new format include Doritos, Ashley HomeStores, Unilever, Wendy’s, and Comcast to name a few. A test ad from Wendy’s asks listeners if they’re hungry, and if they say “yes” the ad recommends what to eat. A DiGiorno’s pizza ad asks listeners to say “yes” to hear the punchline of a pizza-themed joke. An Ashley HomeStores ad engages listeners by offering tips to get a better night’s sleep. [Source]


This ad introduces more than a new interactive format for advertisers, it seeks to enrich engagement metrics for audio ads. Pandora believes these ads will be more meaningful as they entice listeners to pay attention. For advertisers, voice ads offer a way to directly measure how many people an ad reached — something that’s not currently possible with traditional audio ads since they cannot be measured by clicks.

by Nicky Battle
Vice President, Digital Strategist