IT'S A BRAND'S RESPONSIBILITY.
HOW BRANDS HAVE MARKED BLACK HISTORY MONTH 2021
In the UK, October is Black History Month, and we want to highlight some of the incredible ways that brands have marked the occasion – both now in October and back in February for America’s citizens. Last year we saw the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following a chain of horrendous attacks on Black people in America, and it was a timely reminder to everyone who is fortunate enough not to be touched by racism in their everyday life, that the battle is far from over.
There have been some amazing campaigns that have shone a light on Black history and culture, and these are our top picks.
ETSY’S BLACK-OWNED SHOPS
The e-commerce company, Etsy, that is famous for championing small businesses has set up a dedicated space for Black business-people to sell their work. There’s editors’ picks specifically for Black History Month, as well as a space that promotes Black-owned shops.
There are seller spotlights, which tell the stories of incredible Black sellers while promoting their shops. Thanks to big corporations making shopping feel more and more like simply a transaction rather than an immersive and personal experience, it’s easy to forget that with small businesses every sale makes all the difference. These seller spotlights remind us of what it means to shop small, and in this case to show our support to those who are so often overlooked.
Social media platform TikTok celebrated the month by launching the #MakeBlackHistory movement. Back in February for America’s Black History Month, the platform started this movement as a way of highlighting and amplifying Black creators’ voices.
Black trailblazers were spotlighted for the good they were doing on the platform, there were live events wherein Black creators has a space to share their creative works, and there were creative effects available to all users of the app, that served to empower and support the Black community on TikTok. On top of this, the app also pledged to donate $500,000 to non-profit organisations that fight for racial equality, and that support Black communities.
The movement is still active on the platform, some months later, continuing to serve the people who need it the most.
ADOBE AMPLIFYING BLACK VOICES
Creative asset giant Adobe marked Black History Month with a celebration of Black creativity past, present, and future.
The celebration of Black creators includes a partnership with Vanity Fair to commemorate milestone cultural moments through a series of profiles on diverse creators. The company created a diverse voices hub within their Creative Cloud application in order to showcase a wide range of perspectives, and amplify voices that are too often unheard. And finally, Adobe partnered with Black Archives to highlight emerging Black artists and to offer them financial support to further their work.
Adobe holds the belief that everyone deserves to feel accepted and appreciated, and it’s in this space of acceptance that creativity can flourish. Their Black History Month campaign, coupled with the internal employee events that the company has hosted to celebrate the Black talent within its community.
SPOTIFY’S SPOTLIGHT ON BLACK CREATORS AND CULTURE
The Black community has had a huge impact on music throughout history, and the streaming platform Spotify has made this clear with their commemoration of Black History Month. The company aimed to spotlight the Black community’s rich history with guest-curated playlists, specially curated cover art, brand new podcast content, and more.
Spotify’s homage to Black history has been all-encompassing, and has offered something for everybody. Whether you’re listening to a new playlist on your daily commute, consuming a podcast as you complete your household chores, or scrolling through cover artwork in your downtime, Spotify’s got you covered.
Whether you know a lot or a little about Black history, now is the perfect time to learn more. This month acts as a reminder that we should honour, respect, and appreciate others not just in October, but all year round. What we love about the above campaigns is the fact that they haven’t been implemented for only a month, but instead they’re here to stay. Here’s hoping that their impact is just as lasting.
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