The death of George Floyd changed the world. On the heels of the unjust killings of Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, Floyd’s murder played out on our screens. It was impossible to look away. This moment has motivated a renewed call for justice across America. On Tuesday, June 23rd, AMADC hosted a virtual community conversation addressing racial inequality and social justice through the lens of marketing. Our guest panelists included Stasha Rhodes, Mike Utaegbulam, and Jai Ferrell. Each panelist brought to the conversation a unique background and perspective. It is clear that whether working in the public or private sector, we can no longer be silent. As marketers, we know the power of story. And as stewards of the industry, we know that when a fundamental shift occurs, we have a responsibility to understand and then apply it to our work.
Our society absorbs information through entertainment, news media and marketing. From that information, our national narrative is formed. Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon have placed movies and TV shows about the Black experience front and center on their platforms. Media outlets across the spectrum are reporting on the changes—for example, USA Today reports that the approval rating for Black Lives Matter has increased from 40 to 60% in the past month. Companies and nonprofits are scrambling to support positive change by taking a stance against injustice and raising awareness of systematic racism. These businesses understand the negative effects that racism has on the lives of their employees and consumers.
During our community conversation, the panelists shared feedback on recent marketing efforts by well-known brands. Take a look at the examples below to see how they are approaching the conversation.
Proctor & Gamble: https://youtu.be/U7bnS8R994I
Ben & Jerry’s: https://www.benjerry.com/whats-new/2019/08/slavery-to-mass-incarceration
Join us in July as we continue the conversation with other local creative organizations and how we can collectively take action to further social justice in marketing.