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Gender-balanced video ads get more views vs. male-dominated

29 December 2019 (Edited 29 December 2019)

Women buy 80% of travel, but 53% of video travel ads are male-dominated

Report from a study of gender bias in video ads by the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and Think with Google shows that gender-balanced ads are getting more views per ad than are male-dominated ads.

Results are based on 2.7M ads uploaded by advertisers to YouTube between 1 January 2015 and 31 March 2019.


  • Viewers saw male characters 56% of the time. female characters 44%.
  • Viewers heard male characters speaking 60% of the time, female characters 40%.

In the travel vertical:

  • Viewers saw male characters 53% of the time, female characters 47%.
  • Viewers heard male characters speaking 58% of the time, female characters 42%

Male characters dominated most strongly in the Automotive (72%) and Business & Industrial (71%) sectors, female characters in Retail (58%), Consumer Packaged Goods (55%) and Health Care (52%).

Ms. Davis also points out that women in the ads studied tended to be younger, more scantily clad and shown in domestic situations, while men tended to be older and shown working and in leadership positions.

In a 2017 study by the Geena Davis Institute and J. Walter Thompson 66% of women surveyed said they switch off media that stereotype women negatively.


Forbes reported in 2017 that 80% of travel decisions are made by women. Why do travel/tourism advertisers continue to create and run male-dominated ads which 66% of 80% = 53% of their most important target demographic have said they will switch off?

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External Article: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/organizational-culture/gender-representation-media-bias/

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