D&I: Conscious Campaigns
As communicators of information, it’s essential that we tell authentic and relatable stories to represent everyone. With over $600 billion spent worldwide on advertising, the images we show and stories we tell can have an effect on everyone. So getting it right, is important.
In the past, there have been very few ad campaigns that have truly been representative of the African American experience or that included black lead characters. The sad reality is that many people of color are not considered as a viable audience due to the fact there is a lack of diversity during the creation of most campaigns. Many of the placements you have seen in the past reflect that lack of representation.
Creative campaigns are conceived to connect with audiences. When creative people think about how an audience will respond, they think about how people who look like them would respond. By bringing more black people and people of color to the table when a campaign is being created, it would prevent mishaps such as the Mizzou and Barnes and Noble Bookcover campaigns.
In honor of black history month, I wanted to highlight ad campaigns and experiences that not only celebrate the contributions of black people but also stand as an example of inclusive, conscious and thoughtful marketing.
1. Google: #TheMostSearched
To celebrate black history month, Google used its data to beautifully illustrate the contributions black Americans have had on America. They were able to do this by using U.S.-based Google Trends Data to identify black American achievements that were searched more than any others between Jan. 1, 2004, and when U.S. Search Data first became available on July 1, 2019.
2. Target: Celebrate Black History Month
Another amazing campaign this month is how Target is highlighting a collection of everyday things that typically do not receive special placement in a common storefront. The collection highlights clothing, notebooks, dolls, hair products, books, and black-owned businesses during the month, and Target even highlighted the majority-black leadership team that put this collection together.
3. Doritos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6qchztaw9g
Doritos took a brave step in creating an advertisement starring record-shattering, Grammy-winning, Lil Nas X. His hit "Old Town Road" made history as one of the longest-running No. 1 hits on Billboard and shattered cultural stereotypes as he infiltrated country music airwaves. As he is black and queer, the odds would usually be stacked against the pop culture icon; but with Doritos pairing Lil Nas X and Oscar-nominated Sam Elliott together, they blended the old and the new country-Western into one.