Building a More Inclusive Future: Vidmob’s Diversity Report Explained

By : Sarah Graham


In today’s data-driven world, marketers continuously strive to understand and improve how different ethnicities are represented in advertising. Yet, capturing this data accurately remains a significant challenge. While AI technology is not advanced enough to identify ethnicities accurately, skin tone can be identified accurately and is an effective proxy. Progress over perfection is key when it comes to building and adopting new technologies. As a product marketer for Vidmob, I was excited to bring cross-functional teams together to evolve how we’re using cutting-edge AI to advance how marketers can address diversity challenges.

Why Identify Skin Tone?

Understanding representation in advertising is crucial for creating content that is as diverse as the audiences it reaches. Skin tone is a measurable, visual characteristic that, while not a direct stand-in for ethnicity, provides a practical proxy for analyzing diversity in advertising. This approach allows us to take a respectful and effective approach to helping marketers move in the right direction with representative advertising. Having access to this data makes it easier for teams to set benchmarks that help make often aspirational diversity goals a reality.

How It Works: The Technology Behind Skin Tone Identification

To include skin tone data in our diversity report, we utilize the Monk Skin Tone (MST) scale, which is recognized for its comprehensiveness and accuracy. The MST scale includes ten distinct skin tones ranging from light to dark, providing a nuanced spectrum that mirrors real-world diversity. This scale has been vetted and approved by Google, ensuring its reliability and acceptance in the tech community.

Collaborating for Continuous Improvement

This project is uniquely challenging, but deeply rewarding. Unlike typical projects that rely heavily on internal data and predefined algorithms, this initiative thrives on a broad spectrum of perspectives and insights.

We implemented a beta in early 2024, working closely with our clients to understand their specific needs and challenges. This invaluable feedback, combined with our technological capabilities, allows us to continuously refine our methodologies and ensure our data not only reflects accuracy but also represents the nuances that come along with diversity to help provide marketers with information that can help them advocate for inclusivity.

These partnerships are crucial not only for enhancing the accuracy and relevance of our AI but also for ensuring that our efforts contribute meaningfully to a more inclusive advertising landscape. We’re not just analyzing data; we’re inviting a community to help us shape the tools that will define the future of advertising, making it reflective of the world’s true diversity.

Looking Ahead: The Future of Diversity Reporting

As we advance, our goal is to continually build upon and refine our diversity reporting capabilities. We are exploring ways to improve and expand our metrics to capture more nuanced aspects of representation, ensuring our reports are as comprehensive and useful as possible.

Our diversity reports are more than just an aggregation of data. It is a testament to our company goals and commitment to making advertising more inclusive. The technology we develop in collaboration with our partners will aim to set industry standards for inclusivity, providing marketers and agencies with the tools they need to create advertising that truly reflects the diversity of their audiences. As we continue to innovate and push the boundaries of what AI can achieve, we look forward to helping our industry move towards a more inclusive future.