EXTE launches the study “From Clichés to Clicks”: challenging gender stereotypes in digital advertising

“With this study we wanted to create a reflective space where the data speaks for itself. To what extent clichés represent today's real world, and how they are conditioning the results of our campaigns are the questions that have driven “From Clichés to Clicks” explains David Gomez, COO.

Aimed at all players in the advertising industry, from brands and agencies, this study not only questions advertising stereotypes, but also offers a detailed analysis of how they affect online campaigns.

Staging: environment, targeting and creativity

The study was carried out through a campaign focused on the automotive industry, a historically stereotyped sector. The main objective of the campaign was to encourage users to request a test drive of the promoted car.

To achieve this, EXTE created a fictitious brand that presented two clearly differentiated car models: one designed for 4×4-style adventure spaces, and another more compact one intended for driving in urban environments.

In the creatives, both car models were shown being driven by both men and women individually, as well as in company (either with family or friends).

As part of the targeting strategy, the campaign was displayed on websites with a traditionally male audience, and simultaneously on websites aimed at a female audience. In addition, EXTE took advantage of its in-house technology to implement contextual targeting, establishing two contextual territories linked to a male or female audience.

Finally, AdTech developed native creatives that directed long-format brand content with the objective of capturing and maintaining the user's attention, thus seeking to generate the necessary interest for them to request a test drive of the vehicle.

What we're missing: What happens if we don't hit the right key?

The campaign architecture revealed the complexity of human behavior. The more complex the strategy is and the more variables are added to the equation, the greater variety of results we can find and the greater the optimization capacity.

When only environmental and gender variables of the person who appears in the creativity are taken into account, the results are homogeneous. On the other hand, when variables such as the company (family or friends) that appear in the creative and the different web page and contextual segmentations are added, the metrics show significant variations, improving between 20% and 60%.

“The more variables that were incorporated, the greater the optimization capacity. Trial and error have been essential. We isolate variables to illustrate how small changes can have a significant impact on purchase intention” explains Jezabel Hernández Valenzuela, Global AdOps & Operations Director at EXTE.

For example, exchanging female creativity with male creativity in a city and family environment showed a 55% increase in purchase intention. For a male creative with company, in a female contextual territory, we observed an 84% increase in purchase intention when alternating the creative environment from city to adventure. And, in the case of a female creative in which a woman is shown accompanied, with a “female” site segmentation, we observed a 106% increase in purchase intention when alternating the creative environment from city to adventure .

“These results highlight the importance of approaching advertising with a perspective free of stereotypes. Counterintuitive observations, such as the greater interest generated by creatives focused on female audiences among male audiences, underline the need to challenge conventions,” explains Jezabel Hernández Valenzuela, Global AdOps & Operations Director at EXTE.

The creatives focused on the male audience have generated greater consideration in general when they have been targeted in a city and family environment than in an adventure environment with friends. For their part, creatives focused on a female audience where the woman appeared alone in an adventure environment have generated more purchase intentions in general when they have been shown on traditionally male sites and territories.

Jezabel Hernández Valenzuela, Global AdOps & Operations Director at EXTE, is the one who led this study. “It has been a privilege to lead a project capable of opening a conversation about gender in our industry, bringing real and tangible value to our daily activities. Above all, we propose a human approach to our work, supporting and challenging the possibilities of technology. Although it provides us with incalculable value, it is essential to remember that people are at the center of our work, and that our goal is to connect with consumers in today's world,” he explains.

“This study marks the beginning of a methodological development process focused on designing strategies based on data, with the aim of connecting with the user and elevating brands, thus strengthening our bond with customers. This project, along with future research, is the fruit of the solid culture of data analysis that we cultivate, giving rise to a testing laboratory that seeks to question what is established and inject rigor. In this way we will not only ensure that the campaigns continue to be a success but also establish new standards in the industry” concludes Fernando García, CEO of EXTE.

About EXTE

EXTE, the AdTech group of reference in Open Web solutions, is the meeting point between technology, creativity and media. With its solutions, it helps advertisers and publishers identify and reach specific audiences, offering the most appropriate personalized messages for them, which capture the consumer's attention and inspire them to action through Display, Video, Rich Media, Native formats. and CTV. EXTE has a staff of more than 300 people of 24 nationalities distributed in 19 offices in 15 countries around the world, which gives us a glocal mentality: global mindset with local focus and execution. All this under the direction of a management team with decades of experience in the digital marketing sector.