Ad Age | Top 5 Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion Efforts To Know About Right Now
The first in a series highlighting branded DE&I efforts includes inclusive guides, a video series, and creative workshops
Originally published in Ad Age by Maia Vines
Over the past two years, agencies and marketers have pledged to become more equitable and inclusive in their business strategies, with many creating initiatives and campaigns to increase support for communities of color, along with diversifying their internal teams.
Ad Age's new Top 5 series, Top 5 DE&I, takes a look at the recent campaigns, entertainment series and programs through a solutions lens. Each month, we will highlight campaigns and brand initiatives that get DE&I representation right. See all of the latest creativity Top 5 here.
QuickBooks and agency Critical Mass’ spotlight series highlights small business owners of color. The latest creative tells Andrea Hermosillo’s story of switching careers, from construction to tacos. The spot is the latest in a series of 11 videos so far, focusing on AAPI business owners in New York City’s Chinatown, Black business owners in Inglewood, California, and Hispanic and Latino business owners in Dallas.
“What makes these stories so amazing are the business owners themselves; we’re always floored by the impact that they’re having in their communities,” Shauna Maher, team lead, QuickBooks Brand Social, said in a statement. “We’re really committed to giving these underserved business communities a platform, because they don’t often have it.”
"Bet on Black" returns for its second season on RevoltTV.
The competition series, in partnership with Target, sees Black entrepreneurs as they pitch their business proposals to a panel of investors and industry pioneers.
The latest season premiered on Oct. 24 with host Dustin Ross alongside judges Master P, Pinky Cole, Remy Ma, LeToya Luckett, Revolt CEO Detavio Samuels, and Target VP of Community Impact Ron Brown. It will also be streaming on Peacock.
3. Warner Bros. Discovery
On Oct. 12, Warner Bros. Discovery announced that its newly expanded DEI unit will now be in charge of its writers and directors workshops. Discovery faced backlash after previously calling for an end to the programs—run by Warner Bros. Television for over 40 years.
“Including the Writers and Directors Workshop within the scope of our current DEI pipeline programs, which include development opportunities for music supervisors, comedic voices and showrunners among others, will allow for a broader and more intense DEI focus and yield an even larger pool of cohorts to benefit from the experience and exposure we provide,” said Karen Horne, senior VP, equity and inclusion, programs, Warner Bros. Discovery.
2. Code and Theory
In late October, Code and Theory released its Inclusive Writing Guide as part of its Inclusive Design and Marketing Strategy. The guide has been in the works for the past year. In addition to topics like race, where the agency provides guidance on how to use terms like Latinx and Black and brown communities, the guide also covers ability and disability, age, nationality, gender, sexuality, appearance and socioeconomic language.
“During the racial justice conversation, the reckoning that happened in 2020, we saw a lot of different companies making very big commitments, very big claims and setting really big goals. And that was a really great intention. However, it's more important that we reach those goals and that takes consistency and small steps,” said Kirstyn Nimmo, group director of Code and Theory’s inclusive design and marketing strategy discipline.
Target’s holiday commitment includes spending 30% more on Black and Latino-owned media this season, similar to the retailer’s 2021 holiday season investment in Black-owned and Latino-owned media.
Target previously announced that it would look to double the number of Black-owned brands available at Target. In May, it announced it already offered more than 100 Black-owned brands. In 2021, the retailer launched its Building Blocks for Better Products program to support women, Black, indigenous, and people-of-color-owned or founded beauty and personal care businesses.
The retailer's holiday marketing plans include about a dozen commercials beginning with “Gathering,” which began airing on Nov. 1.