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Performative Advertising: What Future Employees Care About

Performative Advertising

The social issues underlying our society are becoming more and more apparent, and younger people are hyper-aware of the immense need to repair them. One way we can aid social progression is to choose to work for businesses who align with our ethics and morals.

Under capitalism, many companies will monitor the current social issues and try to monetise off them. We have seen it during June, which is now labelled as Pride month, where companies will strategically include certain aspects of pride within their products, by advertising rainbow-coloured products, or posting empty messages to the public.

Whilst this may attract young people to certain companies, by wanting to be involved in a moral business, it is often surface level – once it turns July 1st, many companies will neglect desires to improve the effects of these social issues. And younger people realise this. When looking for a job, social minorities would realise that despite a business’ claims to care for social issues that affect them, their chances of being employed out of the public eye may still be quite low, and they may feel significantly less welcome in the workplace. It’s no good choosing to work for a company based on their claims to embrace diversity and inclusion, at the time these social issues are rife, only to join a workforce which lacks togetherness yet continues to profit off these issues through performative advertising.

In reality, these businesses will be making significantly more in profits than they are benefitting social issues. Their business aims are completely different from the empty words delivered to the public.

In these cases, the intelligence of young people is underestimated. Future employees realise how many businesses want profit above all else and lack any real desire to use their resources to form a better society. When looking for an employer, we want someone who will consider our needs, and appreciate the new ideas and attitudes many young people can bring to the table, instead of seeing us as money-making machines to fulfil next month’s quota.

Information about every company is readily available online; we can easily find out if certain companies are authentically benefitting society, past the point of their performative words. Actions speak louder than words, especially those words which have been obviously taken and repeated. If a company truly cared to benefit society, they would leave the space open for influential voices to be heard and do their bit at the side-lines. To look for an employer we would be comfortable working with, authenticity is key – knowing we will be working for a company that is ultimately making the world a better place aligns with our own morals and would allow us to work with passion.

By Tara Bell, BA English student, Bristol University

1 thought on “Performative Advertising: What Future Employees Care About”

  1. Wonderful piece, Tara, and on topic. You and your peers are the talent businesses will want to hire and the points you make are so valid to for what the future workplace should look like.

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    Finola x

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