Diversity: it’s a topic that’s on the minds of business people the world over, advertising agents included. And at Tilted Chair, it’s something we’ve always considered one of our greatest assets. Truth-be-told, as a millennial-led agency, diversity was never something we had to work on—it was always a reality of doing business. Growing up around the turn of the century, it was impossible to ignore that the look of the world has drastically changed, with heterogeneity largely replacing homogeneity as the status quo. We’ve set up our business accordingly, not because we thought we should, but because we’ve never known another way.
Recently, we were invited by UT’s Diversity in Advertising & Public Relations group to speak about this very topic. In preparing our presentation, we had a chance to reflect on diversity at Tilted Chair—what it really is, what it means to our business, and how it equips us to better serve our clients.
WHAT IS DIVERSITY?
Before we dive into how we at Tilted Chair classify diversity, some background on this article’s author: I’m a fifth generation Texan/American with a British first name, a Hispanic surname, a mother of German descent, a father of Mexican and Spanish descent, and proficiency in only one language: English. Needless to say, filling out surveys or ethnicity questions before standardized tests was a particularly confusing and anxiety-inducing experience for a melting pot such as myself.
It begs the question: what is diversity? And perhaps more importantly, why does it matter? For Tilted Chair, diversity comprises mixing people of differing identities, as described by any number of factors: background, country-of-origin, race, ethnicity, experience, gender, sexual orientation, even alma mater (Hook ’em!). Anything that goes into making these people who they are. Simply put, diversity is about perspective.
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF DIVERSITY?
As we’ve observed, diverse perspectives help us serve our clients better in myriad ways.
Diversity enriches the solution pool.
When working on a marketing problem, we rely on team as well as individual brainstorming. And having a diverse and eclectic mix of perspectives enriches the potential solutions, both in number and quality. Solutions from a diverse group tend to be more interesting, more surprising, and more compelling.
Diversity prevents ignorance of our audience.
America is changing, becoming more diverse than at any other time in history. Having those diverse perspectives represented within our own agency prevents us from going to market with communications that might come off as ignorant or inauthentic. We’ve got a built-in authenticity filter right here under our own roof.
Diversity validates our human truths.
One of the first things you learn in ad school is to sell benefits rather than features, and that at the heart of any great product lies a human truth. That’s the thing you build your campaign around, and project to the world. Generating these human truths from such diverse perspectives validates that they are in fact true, across a broad spectrum of otherwise dissimilar people.
Diversity reinforces similarities rather than differences.
As it pertains to our team, we might be very different, but it’s the things we have in common that create such a tight-knit culture. A love for memes, pho, breakfast tacos, and Star Wars/Game of Thrones/Making a Murderer form the bonds that make Tilted Chair what it is: a kick-ass place to work where super smart, diverse people collaborate with the common mission of Making Brands More Human™.
In that endeavor, we’re one.