Sunday, April 30, 2017

13662: Perpetuating Predominance.

Campaign announced, “Dave Buonaguidi to leave CP&B.” The faux diversity champion will offer “creative business solutions and investment to start-up businesses” via a fresh enterprise, which will undoubtedly advocate for White mums while perpetuating the exclusivity that has kept adland in “the dark ages” for far longer than Buonaguidi’s 30+ years in the business. Buonaguidi once explained, “There are several hundred reasons why adland is still so old-fashioned, the main one being that the people who run the business are predominantly White, middle-class, heterosexual males, a group that tend[s] to be quite old-fashioned and mercenary in their views and behaviors.” How fitting that he’ll now lead a new White-male-run business partnering with White, middle-class, heterosexual males who are equally old-fashioned and mercenary in their views and behaviors. Congratulations, Dave!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

13661: Heineken Hypocrisy.

Campaign reported on the latest example of White advertising agencies feigning cultural competence and inclusive enlightenment via hypocritical propaganda. In this case, Publicis London produced “Worlds Apart” for Heineken, depicting seemingly opposite-minded people discussing their differences over a beer. This campaign is heavy-handed in its symbolism and stereotyping—and the product placement is downright pathetic. If Publicis London really wants to create a breakthrough execution, film a bar-side chat between Maurice Lévy and John Wren.

Heineken bids to heal cultural divides in social experiment

Heineken has launched a campaign, “Open your world”, that promotes the virtues of sitting down with someone to discuss your differences over a beer.

By Simon Gwynn

A new film, “Worlds apart”, created by Publicis London, brings together three pairs of people divided by their identity and beliefs. Not initially realising why they have been teamed up, each duo follows instructions to build a bar and share a beer, before the truth about them is revealed on video.

The film was directed by Toby Dye through RSA. The media agency is Mediavest Spark.

Heineken is partnering with non-profit organisation The Human Library in an effort to enact the message of the film in real life. The Human Library is a collection of “books” — each of which is actually a person, with an extraordinary background — which can be “loaned on” for a conversation, debate and chance to find common ground. The partnership will take place at a series of events across the UK, including Wilderness Festival, in Oxfordshire in August.

The brand is also supporting a new study, led by Goldsmiths University behaviour expert Dr Chris Brauer, into the “Science of common ground” — while Heineken’s UK business will be holding “Mix it up” sessions, designed to encourage its staff to spend time with people in the company they have not met before.

And there will also be a Facebook chatbot, designed to connect “unexpectedly like-minded people” to each other, based on a short series of questions about the user’s passions.

Cindy Tervoort, head of marketing at Heineken, said: “Joining forces with The Human Library is a way for us to inspire more people to focus on the things that unite us rather than divide us. We don’t all support the same football team, listen to the same music or share the same taste in clothes.

“We know we’re never going to agree on everything but there will also be common ground. Whether it’s 1950, 2017 or 2027, being open lets us get more out of life. It makes the world a more interesting place. And it makes every story worth listening to.”

Friday, April 28, 2017

13660: Two Minorities 4 The One Show.

Campaign reported The One Show hired two minorities to host the organization’s annual awards show. The One Club CEO Kevin Swanepoel gushed, “This year we wanted hosts who are not only terrific performers—both are just that—but who are also cool and culturally relevant.” In contrast, The One Club is not cool or culturally relevant.

Daveed Diggs, Jessica Williams to host this year’s One Show

By I-Hsien Sherwood

The “Hamilton” and “Daily Show” stars split show into two nights during Creative Week.

“Daily Show” alum Jessica Williams and “Hamilton” star Daveed Diggs will host the two nights of The One Show next month at Cipriani Wall Street in Manhattan. The awards show will take place as part of Creative Week, a celebration of advertising and the arts that also includes the 96th ADC Annual Awards.

“This year we wanted hosts who are not only terrific performers—both are just that— but who are also cool and culturally relevant,” said Kevin Swanepoel, CEO of The One Club for Creativity. “Daveed was a central figure in the cultural force that is ‘Hamilton,’ and Jessica was a linchpin on ‘The Daily Show,’ both of which have had a tremendous impact on today’s zeitgeist.”

The One Show recognizes the best work of the last year in more than a dozen categories. On May 10, Diggs will host the presentation of Gold, Silver and Bronze Pencils in branded entertainment, design, direct, moving image craft, print & outdoor, public relations and responsive environments. The Cultural Driver Award, which recognizes influential marketing that has had a noticeable impact on pop culture, will also be presented for the first time.

Two days later, Williams will host the presentation of Pencils for the cross-platform, film, intellectual property, interactive, mobile, radio, social influencer, social media and UX/UI categories. Special awards will also be presented, including Agency of the Year, Network of the Year, Holding Company of the Year, Client of the Year and Best of Show.

Diggs originated the role of the Marquis de Lafayette/Thomas Jefferson in the original off-Broadway run of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s musical “Hamilton” in 2015. He continued in the role when the show moved to Broadway later that year and won both a Tony and a Grammy Award for his performance. He has also appeared on ABC’s “Black-ish,” Baz Luhrmann’s “The Get Down” and has an upcoming role on “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” on Netflix.

Williams is best known for her role as a correspondent on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.” She is the co-host of the podcast “2 Dope Queens” with comedian and writer Phoebe Robinson, and she stars as the title character in the Netflix film “The Incredible Jessica James” with Chris O’Dowd, to be released later this year.

In addition to The One Show, Creative Week features the ADC Annual Awards, presented on May 8 at Artbeam in Chelsea, followed by the Young Ones and the ADC Student Awards Ceremony on May 9. This year’s Young Ones competition features live pitches before a panel of judges from the United Nations, TOMs, BMW, Serviceplan and industry creatives.

On May 11, the one-day Creative Summit conference will feature speakers from creative agencies and brands like Cadillac, Columbia Records, Shutterstock, Pandora and Pinterest discussing how to reach younger audiences.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

13659: Mickey D’s Uniformity.

Forgot to mention the previous post on Mickey D’s sales boost included references to new crew gear from Russell Simmons’ Phat Farm, Sean Combs’ Sean John and American Apparel. Um, isn’t American Apparel essentially out of business? The offerings from Simmons and Combs—combined with the pseudo-Black advertising that boosted sales—makes one wonder why The Golden Arches didn’t hire a minority shop as AOR.

13658: Badvertising Boosts Sales.

Advertising Age reported the worst Mickey D’s campaign in recent history apparently boosted sales. If the trend continues, the fast feeder can expect skyrocketing profits from the second-worst Mickey D’s campaign in recent history. The hacks at We Are Unlimited are probably booking their flights to Cannes right now.

McDonald’s: ‘There’s a Big Mac for That’ Boosted Results

By Jessica Wohl

Need to boost sales? Apparently, there’s a Big Mac for that.

In its earnings call Tuesday, McDonald’s said serving larger and smaller versions of its iconic Big Mac and lots of $1 coffee helped the fast feeder kick off 2017 on a high note, even though visits to its U.S. restaurants did not increase.

First-quarter U.S. same-store sales rose 1.7%, rebounding after a decline in the fourth quarter of 2016. The latest performance at locations open at least 13 months clearly exceeded the decline of 0.8% analysts had anticipated, according to Consensus Metrix.

The results also suggest the world’s largest restaurant chain has been grabbing diners from other chains. Recent promotions and the sustained performance of All Day Breakfast have clearly helped, but its number of visitors in the United States did not increase.

“Frankly, we want those back,” CEO Steve Easterbrook said of the lost visits.

During the first quarter, McDonald’s offered the larger Grand Mac and smaller Mac. Jr. versions of its Big Mac burger. It advertised the limited-time burgers with a campaign from its new dedicated agency, Omnicom’s We Are Unlimited.

The marketing and the agency were not mentioned on today’s call. However, Easterbrook did briefly mention the recent hiring of the new U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Morgan Flatley and two other outsiders as examples of how McDonald’s is adding fresh perspectives to its executive ranks to help shake things up.

McDonald’s continues to make changes to its menu, restaurants, and technology to entice patrons to visit more often. Still, the number of visits to U.S. restaurants, or traffic, still did not increase last quarter. One issue was the first quarter of 2017 had one fewer day than last year when Leap Day gave the chain an extra day of sales. The latest quarterly decline follows four consecutive years of traffic declines at McDonald’s through 2016.

Clearly, growing “guest counts” is a top priority for McDonald’s, Chief Financial Officer Kevin Ozan said on a conference call. He pointed out that markets including Japan, the U.K. and Canada saw traffic increases in the first quarter, while markets including the U.S. and Germany declined.

McDonald’s performance served as a sharp contrast to broader weakness in the U.S. restaurant industry. For example, Brinker International Inc. on Tuesday said Chili’s U.S. same-store sales fell 1.7% in the casual dining chain’s latest quarter.

Back at McDonald’s, a 4% jump in global same-store sales also outpaced the 1.3% increase analysts had anticipated. Profit also came in ahead of Wall Street’s expectations.

McDonald’s shares rose in Tuesday trading, at one point setting a new high of $141.99.

Now McDonald’s is gearing up for next week’s national launch of its Signature Crafted line, which offers different premium toppings such as guacamole. While those sandwiches come with a higher price, McDonald’s will continue to emphasize value-priced items including drinks and will keep the number of items it adds to its lineup in check.

McDonald’s menu innovation plans “won’t be reckless,” Easterbrook said on the call.

McDonald’s is also adding delivery to more areas through a partnership with UberEats. Later this year all U.S. restaurants should be ready for people to order ahead through its app. And next year, it plans to start serving fresh beef in its Quarter Pounder burgers on a national scale after successful tests.

The chain also updated its U.S. uniforms in a bid to modernize its look beyond its restaurant remodeling projects. The new uniforms, created with designers Waraire Boswell and Bindu Rivas, feature shades of gray. They began popping up in marketing materials last year and are now rolling into restaurants nationwide.

McDonald’s said the new look is the first time McDonald’s U.S. reached out to influential designers to create uniforms, though Rivas already worked on the U.K. division’s look. Still, some recall that McDonald’s pondered a designer approach years ago. In 2005, McDonald’s U.S. was thinking about spicing up its uniforms with help from the likes of Russell Simmons’ Phat Farm, P. Diddy’s Sean John, American Apparel and others.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

13657: Shea Moisture’s Bad Hair Hire Day.

At Adweek, Patrick Coffee wrote “How Growing Brands Can Avoid Shea Moisture’s Mistake of Alienating Core Fans.” Um, is the doofus who works as the head poster at AgencySpy really qualified to counsel brands? After all, AgencySpy ultimately alienated its core fans by bringing Coffee on board. Regardless, the lengthy piece only offers two points worth noting:

1. Adweek revealed, “In an effort to increase its market share, the brand hired Droga5 as its creative agency of record.” While the White advertising agency had nothing to do with the Shea moisture video sparking online outrage, the hiring shows that the hair care company is culturally clueless and has clearly lost touch with its customer base.

2. Adweek wrote, “A spokesperson for VaynerMedia did not respond to a request for comment…” Okay, VaynerMedia is a White digital shop run by Gary Vaynerchuk, an alleged social media guru—which underscores how social media is anti-social to minorities.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

13656: Shea It Ain’t So!

First, Pantene wooed Black women, despite historically and predominantly targeting White women. Now, SheaMoisture is reaching out to White women, despite historically and predominantly targeting Black women. Advertising Age reported on the SheaMoisture campaign and the associated hair-pulling backlash.

Slammed on Twitter, Shea Moisture Pulls Ad Seen as Moving Brand Away From Black Women

By Jack Neff

The idea that women of all races should love their hair may seem non-controversial. Forget that.

Shea Moisture, a brand long marketed primarily to African-American women, got a social-media smackdown Monday afternoon that made it the top U.S. Twitter trend with nearly 33,000 tweets as of 5 p.m. Tweets objected to new advertising that reaches out to white women and equates the “hair hate” they face to what black women encounter. By 6 p.m., the brand had pulled the ad.

Commenters saw the ad as an effort by Shea Moisture to move away from its core consumers toward white women, some of whom are depicted in the 60-second video as using Shea Moisture products. A tweet by Nana Jibril, who describes herself on LinkedIn as a freelance social-media expert and former social-media manager at her alma mater Old Dominion, appears to have started things.

Other tweets included satire—one depicting an ugly desegregation confrontation as white women clamoring for Shea Moisture.

In another, Rachel Dolezal, the former Spokane, Wash., NAACP president who is white but said she “identifies as black,” expressing an interest in the brand.

“At the core of it is that the African-American community has over time seen many brands that stood for them not stand for them,” said Richelieu Dennis, founder and CEO of Sundial Brands, which markets the Shea Moisture and Nubian Heritage brands. “And they’re very concerned that a brand that has meant so much to this community will no longer stand for them. The reality is that we’ll always stand for them.”

The ad from VaynerMedia is part of a campaign that features a diverse group of 40 women, focusing on “the different challenges in society around hair and beauty,” Dennis said. “Knowing the ethos of the brand and where it started, we know better, and we should make sure our core African-American consumer always feels represented in everything we do, because we are not moving away from her.”

The ad, since pulled, was part of a broader campaign created by a collaboration of in-house and outside agencies.

Haircare brands that appeal to predominantly white women—such as Unilever’s Dove and Procter & Gamble Co.’s Pantene—have reached out to African-American women and other ethnic groups without major recriminations. Dove did so with ads and products focused on curly hair, without making them overtly about any particular ethnic group. Pantene in March launched a campaign in March aimed at combatting bias against African-American hairstyles.

Monday, April 24, 2017

13655: American Gladiators & Aviators.

The Huffington Post published a report about an ugly confrontation between an American Airlines employee and passenger—and the video player aired a Delta Airlines commercial with a track singing, “Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho, it’s off to work we go!”

13654: Strategic Bullshit Via JWT.

AgencySpy posted on the latest nonsense involving the Erin Johnson lawsuit against JWT and WPP, with Johnson’s lawyers accusing the opposition of attempting to delay the potential trial date. AgencySpy only offered a single item worth spotlighting:

Here’s one interesting tidbit. During the December hearing, Howard Rubin of Davis & Gilbert stated that “things have improved” at JWT’s New York office since last November, when Johnson went back to work and her lawyers almost immediately submitted a letter claiming that agency leadership had engaged in “retaliatory behavior” in pressuring her to resign.

“I know she is having a meeting in January to talk about planning the global strategy for the company, which, I think, again, seems like she and the CEO [Tamara Ingram] are getting along better than maybe when first letters were written,” he said.

First of all, the opinion of a Davis & Gilbert lawyer representing JWT and WPP is BS. Johnson and Ingram met to discuss the agency’s global strategy? Hmmm. Perhaps Johnson masterminded all the diverted diversity smokescreens and shields JWT has recently assembled, fabricating its sly global strategy to appear inclusive and friendly to women and minorities—despite being embroiled in a sensationalistic lawsuit featuring sexism, racism, cronyism and anti-Semitism. It’s more than ironic that JWT is symbolized by an Old White Guy.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

13653: Killing It With Insensitivity.

Campaign published “How to have a killer career without killing yourself” by recently retired Phelps Chief Creative Officer Howie Cohen—and the piece included a jokey photo of a skeleton at a workstation (depicted above). Given the issue of adpeople dying on the job, this all seems quite insensitive.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

13652: Boldly Bad Bullshit.

LISTERINE® is trying to position itself as “bold” via a campaign—featuring a White breakdancer and White stuntwoman—that is anything but bold. Three White advertising agencies—MRY, JWT Worldwide and Tongal—are taking credit for the mess, which is probably the boldest move in the entire scenario.

Friday, April 21, 2017

13651: Lévy Promises To Shine.

Advertising Age reported outgoing and outdated Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO Maurice Lévy declared, “I’m not totally retiring. I’m not even semi-retiring.” The old man added, “I will actively seek to strengthen our client portfolio and support [Arthur Sadoun] and the management board. I will be there each time they ask me to do something, including shining their shoes.” The board should ask Lévy to clean up the piles of poop he’s purchased in recent years. Shit and Shinola!

Lévy Would Rather Shine Shoes Than Retire From Publicis Groupe

By Emma Hall

Maurice Lévy, the outgoing chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe, is so keen to stay involved in the company that he has offered to shine the shoes of the management board.

“I’m not totally retiring,” he told analysts at his final earnings presentation in Paris this morning. “I’m not even semi-retiring.”

On June 1, Lévy will hand over the chairman and CEO roles at the agency holding giant to Arthur Sadoun, currently CEO of Publicis Communications, and take on a new role as chairman of Publicis Groupe’s supervisory board.

“I will actively seek to strengthen our client portfolio and support Arthur and the management board,” Mr Lévy insisted. “I will be there each time they ask me to do something, including shining their shoes.”

Lévy was keen to point out that he has not been leading Publicis Groupe on his own for the last 30 years. “It’s not a one-man show,” he said. “It’s a team show. The team is changing the leader for somebody who is more energetic, has more ideas, is much younger, and will take the company to another level.”

First-quarter results, which showed revenue of $2.5 million, were not as upbeat as Lévy’s delivery but moved in the right direction. Organic revenue, which excludes the impact of acquisitions, slipped 1.2%, an improvement on the 2.5% decline seen in the final quarter of 2016. North America was the worst-performing region, with a 5% drop in organic revenue. All other regions showed growth in organic revenue, led by Europe’s 5.5% increase.

Despite the declines, Lévy described a positive future for the French communications group, whose agencies include Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, Starcom and Mediavest. He said he expects Publicis Groupe to return to growth in the second half of 2017, and to be outperforming the market by the second half of 2018.

Asked about YouTube’s brand safety issues and Facebook’s fake news controversy, Lévy responded, “Clearly I don’t believe that Google and Facebook have done anything wrong. I believe that the situation is so complex that even the great minds that are leading both companies have difficulties in coping with zillions of ads that have to be distributed on zillions of sites and addresses.”

However, these same challenges present opportunities for Publicis Groupe, according to Lévy. Marketers “need to be certain the money is directed to the right audience with the right message,” he said. “This is where the value of what we have to bring has to be perceived by the client much better than in the past. They have to understand that to get to the right audience, to use the right data, to use the right platform, means to pay a fair price to the people who are developing this.”

Lévy also asserted that Publicis Groupe has “killed the holding company model ... and moved to become a connecting company.” In November, for example, Publicis Groupe announced that Sapient.Nitro would be merged with Razorfish, both a part of the group’s digital division, Publicis.Sapient. The North America results have been dragged down by troubles at digital agency Razorfish, which Lévy said included an over reliance on one-off projects, and management changes that have seen three CEOs in three years.

“We thought there was a bigger prize to win if we were to create the alchemy between technology and creativity,” Lévy said of the decision to integrate SapientNitro into the group. “We offer an end-to-end solution to our clients, including a technology platform that provides a wealth of solutions. For a lower cost, our clients can reach consumers better.”

Lévy signed off by telling analysts, “It’s been a fantastic journey. Bonne chance and I’m sure that you will enjoy Arthur’s way of dealing with you in the future.”

Thursday, April 20, 2017

13650: The Whitest Of Them All.

This wine from Portugal claims to be “The Whitest White.” Surely it can’t be whiter than the advertising industry.

13649: McMindy Campaign Is SO Bad.

The latest Mickey D’s campaign from We Are Unlimited features Mindy Kaling inviting people to visit “That place where Coke tastes SO good.” Wow. You know it’s bad when the Golden Arches is hyping a soft drink partner versus original menu items. Hey, let’s trick folks into coming to McDonald’s by luring them with The Real Thing—which, incidentally, is also steadily declining in popularity. Sorry, but this concept fails on SO many levels. Is there no limit to the awfulness of We Are Unlimited?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

13648: LGBT CTA.

Adweek published the latest cry for LGBT equality, representing another segment leapfrogging over racial and ethnic equality in the advertising industry. Hey, even AMC series Mad Men featured LGBT characters in leadership roles—versus the subservient Blacks relegated to support staff positions.

Why Committing to LGBT Equality and Embracing a Diverse Workplace Is So Good for Brands

It’s a powerful signal that companies care about doing what’s right

By Phil Schraeder

The teenage years are rarely easy, and that’s especially true for those of us in the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

When I was growing up in the Midwest, I had a passion for business. However, there were very few LGBT role models I could look up to in corporate America. I knew that when I started my own career, I wanted to find a job where I could be the same person at work that I was at home; yet, I wasn’t sure if such a job existed.

Finding that job took a lot of perseverance. After graduating from college, I moved to Los Angeles and started my career in entertainment because I thought it would be the most accepting environment. However, even in that industry, which is known to be more LGBT-friendly than most, it was a struggle to find a job where I could be entirely open about my life without any fear of discrimination.

When I did eventually find a job that made me feel truly comfortable, at in-image advertising pioneer GumGum, my world opened and everything changed. The more relaxed I felt about my LGBT identity in the office, the happier I felt in general and the better I performed at work. I found myself quickly climbing the corporate ladder, and I’m now GumGum’s president and COO, where I have the great pleasure of leading a thriving company.

I share this story not because of my personal success, but rather because I could not have succeeded in this way in a company that was not committed to LGBT equality. That’s why I have mixed feelings about the 2016 edition of the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s Corporate Equality Index (CEI), which set a new record for the number of businesses that earned a top score of 100 percent in equality. While it is remarkable that the CEI set a new record for truly inclusive companies, that record-breaking number is only 366—366 companies in all of America that were found to be fully inclusive. While it’s a start, it’s also a reminder of how far we have to go.

This isn’t to deny the real progress that has been made. Quite a few corporate executives spoke out against bills designed to legalize discrimination in Indiana and Arizona, and they were rightfully applauded for their bravery and leadership. But, as I hope my own story indicates, corporate executives should focus on LGBT inclusion and equality not only because it’s the right thing to do. They should also do so because it’s good for their businesses.

The best and brightest LGBT millennials will have their choice of jobs, and they will choose the companies where they feel they can truly be themselves—companies where all employees can happily put a family photo on their desks, regardless of their sexual orientation. And when these LGBT employees arrive at their new jobs, they will make their new companies stronger not only directly through their work, but also indirectly through the creation of a more diverse and creative workforce.

The benefits to companies that reach out to the LGBT community won’t end there. Whether they’re members of the LGBT community or not, millennials want to work for socially responsible companies. When a corporation institutes new nondiscrimination protections or updates its benefits and diversity practices to be more inclusive, it sends a powerful signal to an entire generation that the company cares about doing what’s right. In many cases, that signal can be more powerful for recruiting than even the promise of big paychecks.

Change, of course, will only come when more of us speak out about the need for it. To this day, many states still have laws that make it possible to use a person’s sexual orientation as grounds for dismissal. That’s why it was so important for Tim Cook to publish his essay in Bloomberg Businessweek in 2014. And Cook is a great example of the larger point. As Cook put it, “I’ve had the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences. Not everyone is so lucky.” Imagine the enormous loss to Apple if Cook had not felt comfortable at the company and had left to work somewhere else.

But Tim Cook is only one person. The next generation of LGBT employees deserves corporate role models not just at Apple, but also at every other major company. It’s for this reason that I’m currently involved in a program that sends executives in the LGBT community to high schools to discuss career options for LGBT students. And it’s for this reason that every corporation that wants to rise to the top should be getting in front of LGBT groups at colleges and high schools across the country.

If corporate America can reach the LGBT community and demonstrate genuine support, it will have a huge impact on business and equality all at once. It’s great that there are now 366 fully inclusive and equal companies in America—but there are many thousands more to go.

Phil Schraeder is the president and COO at GumGum (@GumGum). He is based in Los Angeles.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

13647: Micro-Lending & Macro-Contributions.

Today’s Google Doodle salutes Esther Afua Ocloo, the late Ghanaian entrepreneur and business leader who ultimately helped empower millions of women to succeed in business. Her achievements include being a pioneer in micro-lending, stimulating businesses by making small loans. In short, she contributed far more to global gender equality than the overwhelming majority of adpeople who’ve jumped onto the White women’s bandwagon.

13646: Alluring Commentary.

The April 2017 issue of Allure features 41 women of color discussing diversity. Wonder if there are more women of color in the fashion/modeling field versus the less-than-100 Black female executives in the advertising field.

13645: So White Program So-So.

The Drum reported on the “Easter So White” campaign designed to expose the dearth of diversity—namely, the absence of Black, Asian and minority ethnic characters—in UK advertising campaigns. The holiday initiative is part of the So White Project, which was “founded to raise awareness of the lack of diverse imagery in marketing and advertising.” Supporters of the project include Google, BBH, DigitasLBi, Dentsu Aegis Network and Saatchi & Saatchi. Um, the supporters are among the key perpetrators. And the underrepresentation of minorities in advertising campaigns and advertising agencies is not news. A co-founder of the So White Project said, “It doesn’t end here and for #SummerSoWhite we are having exciting conversations with diversity organisations to represent the full wonderful diversity of the UK. There is no element of diversity we won’t represent.” How about Adland So White?

‘Easter So White’ campaign looks to draw attention to lack of BAME diversity in advertising

By Rebecca Stewart

Diversity is not just for Christmas — that’s the message behind ‘Easter So White’, the latest campaign from a group of creatives looking to find a solution to the under-representation of the Black, Asian, and minority ethnic communities in advertising.

In the same vain as last year’s ‘Christmas So White’ initiative, the latest project aims to counter the “cultural white-wash” often presented in imagery around Easter.

Kickstarted by a team of creatives, the So White Project looks to normalise diverse imagery through real life photography. As part of its Easter campaign it has teamed up with Getty to make available a series of royalty free images for brands to use in their own ads.

The images were captured by photographer Helen Marsden and include shots of Easter egg hunts and egg painting as well as drawing attention to other culture’s Easter traditions.

The inspiration to include other cultural traditions occurred when Selma Nicholls, one of the So White Project founders, revealed Easter Egg hunts are not a typical tradition for her, explaining she would instead visit family and friends whilst eating bun and cheese and fried fish; both Caribbean Easter traditions.

Models for the campaign were supplied by Nicholls’ agency Looks Like Me, which seeks to raise the profile of underrepresented groups.

Using the hashtag #EasterSoWhite, users on social media will be driven to the So White Project hub, while a partnership with Exterion and Primesight will enable the imagery to be featured in OOH locations throughout the UK.

‘Easter So White’ has been backed by a roster of ten brands, platforms and agencies including: MediaCom; Google; Above+Beyond; AnalogFolk; BBH, DigitasLBi; Dentsu Aegis Network; New Look; Saatchi & Saatchi and Sunshine.

Nadya Powell, one of the co-founders of the scheme said: “With ‘Easter So White’ it was important to build on the diversity message we established at Christmas so including diverse cultural traditions was a really exciting next step.

“It doesn’t end here and for #SummerSowhite we are having exciting conversations with diversity organisations to represent the full wonderful diversity of the UK. There is no element of diversity we won’t represent,” she finished.

“As communicators, we should know better than anyone that the images we are exposed to, and the stories that businesses tell create the lens through which we all see the world,” said Matt Law, chief operating officer at AnalogFolk.

“We are glad to have had the opportunity to support the #EasterSoWhite campaign and make a small step to creating a culture more representative of everyone in it.”

Monday, April 17, 2017

13644: USAA Today.

This USAA commercial features an interracial family. Would the financial services company’s former White advertising agency—Campbell Ewald—have produced such a spot? Not sure the new White advertising agency from Publicis Groupe is much better. While the comments at YouTube have been disabled, there are currently more dislikes than likes for the commercial. Maybe disgruntled Campbell Ewald employees are casting the negative votes.

13643: Jumping All Over Jump In.

Too much has already been discussed regarding the Pepsi-Kendall Jenner video, but MultiCultClassics would like to examine one area that has not been critiqued enough. According to news sources including NBC, “Pepsi said the film, titled ‘Jump In,’ was produced by PepsiCo’s in-house content creation arm, Creators League Studio.” In 2016, Digiday and Advertising Age spotlighted the enterprise and its leader, Brad Jakeman. You know, the PepsiCo Global Beverage Group President who has boldly booted a recruiter and been solemnly saluted by the AD Club for his diverted diversity drivel. When it comes to inclusion, Jakeman likes to talk the talk; however, his continued partnership with White advertising agencies shows an inability to walk the walk.

Others contend the Pepsi debacle presents lessons on the industry’s dearth of diversity and monocultural workplaces, as well as insular in-house models. While these notions probably contributed to the overall mess, MultiCultClassics still believes the root dilemma goes beyond such easy targets.

Digiday revealed that Pepsi envisioned Creators League Studio would “let marketers, not agencies, sit in the creative driver’s seat.” Citing how the beverage maker annually generates up to 400 pieces of digital videos and content, the wondrous studio could “bring all of that in house and do it quickly, as well as cheaply.”

Advertising Age wrote that Jakeman declared, “Our goal is to really behave like a Hollywood studio.” The Tinseltown wannabe added, “The holy grail for me is to leverage the incredible power of our brands and their equities to essentially fund their own marketing. Will we ever get there? It is going to take a while. Are we making steps toward that direction? Absolutely, we are.”

Okey-doke. So here’s the problem. PepsiCo assembled an efficiency-focused—i.e., cheap—production factory and appointed an unqualified doofus to lead the revolutionary experiment. Hell, Jakeman could benefit from dialing the Omnicom hotline and begging the holding company to assign one of its White advertising agencies to take control. At this point, Fathom Communications would be a significant improvement. Let Creators League Studio cover the bulk of below-the-line digital content that customers will ignore. But don’t let Creators League Studio play in the big leagues. And don’t let Jakeman play the Hollywood mogul-creative director-procurement guru. The man should serve as a Global Beverage Group President instead, maximizing his core competencies and professional gifts.

In the end, the “Jump In” video underscores a simple truth: Pepsi has become a shitty client.