Methodology for the Google Marketing 2018-2021
 Creative Audits

Google's annual creative audit is an analysis of inclusion dimensions and metrics for U.S. marketing images and videos. Results from the audit are used to understand year-over-year improvement and create annual goals for representation and inclusion in our marketing creative.

Dimensions we look for in our creative audits

Each year, we update the key findings from the creative audit. However, for greater transparency in the process, here’s a look at all the dimensions of inclusion that feed into our audit.

Note: These dimensions are not intended to be fully inclusive of all possible identities, but they were reviewed internally by people of various identities and experiences. We also acknowledge that many dimensions of identity are not apparent to others. A limited set of dimensions was chosen to support measuring representation at scale. Our hope is to understand whether our intent to be inclusive is perceived through external evaluations of our marketing creative.


Perceived presence of people in the age groups of children, teens, young adults, adults, and older adults.

Body type

Perceived presence and representation of people with various body types.


Perceived presence and representation of people with various types of apparent and non-apparent disabilities.


Perceived presence and representation of women, men, and gender expansive individuals.


Perceived presence and representation of LGBTQ+ people (with the understanding that LGBTQ+ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning or queer).

Race and ethnicity

Perceived presence and representation of Asian, Black, Indigenous, Latino / Latinx, multiracial / multiethnic, or white people.


Perceived presence of people who belong to or practice religious faiths, including Christianity, Islam, and Judaism.

Skin tone

Perceived presence of a diverse spectrum of skin tones from dark to light.

Socioeconomic status

Perceived presence of low-income, middle-income, and high-income socioeconomic categories.


Perceived presence of people wearing different types of uniforms including Armed Forces, firefighter, and medical uniforms.

Methodology used in our analysis

For the audit of 2021 campaigns, we focused on the top campaigns by budget that launched in the U.S.

For the audit conducted in 2019 only, the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media contributed human-evaluated research on 1,400+ images and videos from our top campaigns by budget that launched in the U.S. They analyzed several of the dimensions listed above as well as an expanded list of dimensions.

For all annual audits, evaluations are led by an internal Google team to analyze thousands of marketing images and videos that launched in the U.S. We work with over 1,500+ external evaluators to help us understand which identities and intersectionalities are perceived in our marketing. We acknowledge that there is a human margin of error inherent in this analysis, since perception varies based on an individual’s collective identities and experiences, and since many dimensions of identity are not apparent or perceivable by others.

Machine learning analysis is led by an internal Google team on thousands of videos and on over 60 Google-owned YouTube channels. To measure representation in video content, the models detect face attributes for use in analysis: perceived gender expression, age, and visual speech detection. You can learn more about the methodology for a similar machine learning analysis on this page.