HP data shows that diversity makes good business sense and backs it up with #MoreLikeMe campaign

#MoreLikeMe participants will be at Cannes Lions

For over a year, HP has been holding its agencies accountable to diversity and equality standards and according to new data released by the company, the push is paying off.

Today (May 30) HP unveiled that ads created by diverse teams perform better. Measuring the impact of HP ads created before and after its 2016 diversity initiative was launched, Brand Monitor showed a six-point increase in purchase intent and HP business drivers in just one year.

In addition, Marketing Mix Analysis, run by Nielsen, captured a 33% increase in revenue per impression. HP also worked with the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) to apply its #SeeHer Gender Equality Measurement (GEM) methodology to company ads. It showed a five-point increase in effectiveness, which places HP in the top quartile of brands.

“We started this journey 18 months ago to illustrate that diversity can and should be good for business,” said Antonio Lucio, chief marketing and communications officer at HP, who added that HP’s business is pulling in all-time high revenue in the category, with all financial targets being hit.

While not all of that financial success can be attributed to its diversity pledge, Lucio said it helps make a strong business case.

HP has certainly made strides in its diversity and inclusion, starting in-house by staging a recruitment campaign that has so far included pushes for people of color, women, LGBTQ and Latino segments, and looks next to address veterans.

HP also launched the industry’s first diversity scorecard challenge. This required its agencies to set targets and increase the number of women and people of color working on the HP account. With a disciplined approach to measuring progress, HP’s top five roster agencies reported a 20-point increase in women working on HP account teams.

HP was the first to sponsor Free the Bid, a non-profit initiative spearheaded by director Alma Har’el, that asks agencies to include a female director on every triple-bid project. The year before, none of the HP films were directed by women. After the diversity challenge, nearly 60% of HP’s global campaign films have been directed by women – all Free the Bid directors.

“I’m so proud (to be working with Free the Bid). Before, HP had not worked with one female director. Now, of the 53 global campaigns HP has done, 59% were done with directors we found through Free the Bid. The industry has increased hiring and bidding of directors by 400%. The results give us confidence and motivation to accelerate our efforts…they are beautiful data points,” he said.

But far from being over, Lucio says this push for diversity is just beginning.

“We have made progress but not enough for people of color,” said Lucio, adding that the campaign will continue both internally and with HP’s partner agencies.

“We will be adding GEM metrics to all our ad testing and will be the first brand working with The Female Quotient to create and implement a custom ‘Algorithm for Equality’ with Shelley Zalis (chief executive of The Female Quotient) to measure workplace inclusion,” he said. “We want to take this journey to next level.”

It will also work with the organization in collaboration at the signature event, The Girls' Lounge, during Cannes Lions.

Continuing diversity success with #MoreLikeMe

To support its agencies in developing top talent and a continuing diverse talent pipeline, HP and Cannes Lions announced #MoreLikeMe, a pilot program designed to build and strengthen ethnic and racially diverse creative individuals, is part of the movement to grow the representation of people of color in the creative industry.

Each of HP’s roster agencies – BBDO, Edelman, FF (Fred & Farid), Giant Spoon and PHD – nominated candidates for the initiative. The 18 participants submitted essays discussing a variety of topics, including challenges experienced breaking into the advertising world and an exploration of the entertainment industry’s progressive projects like Black Panther, Westworld and Coco. Essays also covered why they would be a valuable voice for diversity in the industry. The participants are African-American, Brazilian, Korean, Chinese, Taiwanese, Malaysian, Indian, Colombian and Vietnamese.

“We did this to increase pipeline of people who can be at the leadership level…to help train creative talent. We’re so excited about hosting them,” said Lucio, who read the profiles of each and every one of the participants, and even quoted one, David Jacobsen, senior producer, Giant Spoon, who said something that stuck with Lucio: “Diversity is not a box that you tick. It is the context which we create our stories.”

In response to the initial announcement of the program, Facebook will also be nominating three participants from the industry – alumni of the 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Internship Program are championing diversity – to join #MoreLikeMe. As part of the program, the company will also sponsor an Instagram Story School, host a session on Facebook’s beach stage, as well as facilitate mentorship opportunities and meet-ups with #MoreLikeMe participants and HP.

The rising stars will attend this year’s Cannes Lions festival for an experience focused on mentoring and curated programming. The session will include a speed mentoring session in the Girls’ Lounge, a luncheon with HP marketing leadership, and access to all of the Cannes Lions panels and workshops.

“We are honored to become an early supporter of HP's #MoreLikeMe program. It's critically important that diverse talent benefit from the incredible programming that Cannes Lions has to offer. At Facebook, we believe diversity is everyone's responsibility and for the industry one thing we've prioritized is democratizing creativity, from access to creative platforms and tools to industry organizations and events,” said Carolyn Everson, vice president of global marketing solutions at Facebook. “We've partnered with the 4A's MAIP to select three participants to join the #MoreLikeMe initiative.”

HP will also host an all-star panel at Cannes, featuring Edward Enninful, editor-in-chief, British Vogue; BAFTA-nominated actress, Thandie Newton; and agency disruptor, Tiffany R. Warren, chief diversity officer at Omnicom and founder and president at Adcolor.

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