B Code Releases New Report, Examines Black Audiences Expectations from Digital Advertising Following a Tumultuous Year

Published : Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 10:38 pm
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B Code, a digital media company focused on helping brands and advertisers connect with Black audiences at scale across the digital landscape, today released the Black Attitudes Towards Digital Advertising report, which examines Black consumers’ thoughts towards digital advertising, including preferred channels, content, ad types and more.

Over the past year, concerns surrounding underrepresentation and lack of diversity in media were brought front and center alongside the demand for Black voices to be heard and amplified. Since then advertisers have been reassessing how their efforts resonate with and support the Black community. This spurred the development of this B Code study which can be used as a resource to help advertisers understand how Black audiences are responding to different channels, content and ad formats.

The Black and African-American population stays connected, is innovative and brand loyal, making them a highly valued audience to brands within the digital landscape. This community accounts for 13% of all U.S. population and 88% of African Americans age 25 and older hold a high school diploma or higher as recorded in 2019. Their spending power is also incredibly strong at $1.4T as of 2019, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth, and projected to grow to $1.8T by 2024.

“To help close the gap between Black consumers and brands, advertisers must work from the ground up to tailor genuine and respectful messaging that effectively reaches and connects with Black audiences,” says Damian Benders, General Manager of B Code. “With B Code’s new study, we aim to help marketing professionals supplement the work they are doing with relevant creative with information on how to effectively push their messages across digital formats. We need to take advantage of these insights in every step of executing media strategies.”

The Black Attitudes Towards Digital Advertising report uses proprietary data collected from the B Code Intelligence Center, which routinely surveys a large panel of Black consumers across target demographics. 568 Black respondents were surveyed from March 17 through March 22, 2021, and they are representative of all main geographical areas of the United States. The report is the second major study released by B Code following the announcement of its inception in June, 2021.

Topline insights from the report include the following:

Digital Ad Formats & Preferences : The Black community is an evolving audience that is eager to stay up-to-date in the tech and the advertising world. While 54% of respondents say they are already likely to click on a digital ad, they are interested in seeing advancements in the ad space, with 45% demonstrating their interest in wanting to see more interactive video ads and other innovative models. Additionally, based on their personal digital behavior, Black audiences are most likely to see an ad on digital apps (72%) and social media (70%).

Ad Effectiveness : For advertising to connect effectively with the Black consumer, the content must not only be relevant to the reader, but it must also be relevant to the content they often find themselves around. 43% of respondents mentioned that a culturally relevant ad will be most effective in a culturally relevant website, rather than a general one, signaling the need for dedicated spaces in advertising. Also, 53% say an ad that is relevant to them personally will make them more likely to engage which is an indication that there is tolerance for even more personalization. In order for ads to be relevant to consumers, appropriate targeting must be a priority for advertisers. Black audiences are sensitive to their online privacy, with 54% stating that their identity should be protected online at all times and 49% support limiting or eliminating cookies as it will prevent personal information from being shared. Consistent with established best practices, survey respondents mostly prefer ads positioned at the beginning (42%) and at the middle (43%) of the content they are experiencing.

Culture & Representation : When targeting Black audiences, advertisers must ensure they are considering the ad content decisions that resonate most. Leveraging talent that reflects the diversity of the Black community and leaning into this audience’s desire to see their real stories highlighted will reap rewards be most impactful. Respondents said that an ad would grab their attention if it represented people like them (76%), featured stories of real people that are from the same ethnic/racial group (64%), and included music or other art that related to their ethnic/racial group (50%). Brand endorsements must also include culturally representative elements, with respondents saying they are more likely to pay attention to an ad if it features a Celebrity (67%) or influencer (65%) from their ethnic/racial group.

To download the B Code Black Attitudes Towards Digital Advertising report, visit:

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