How DOOH can Amplify Black Voices
Published: February 14, 2022
Black History Month is an annual observance of the historical achievements, events, and struggles of the Black community. This entire month gives brands a chance to create thoughtful and impactful campaigns that support and amplify Black voices. However, there have been times brands have missed the mark, like the infamous Bath & Body campaign.
Brands and creators need to reassess how to voice their support and uplift Black voices without the goal of increasing brand awareness and practicing performance activism.
When done correctly, digital out-of-home (DOOH) can be a great advertising tool to educate large audiences, advocate for change, and amplify Black people and their stories - beyond the month of February!
Before we get started, brands must go beyond creating a banner or logo. Recognizing Black History Month is only the first piece of the conversation. A company must have clear commitments and initiatives set in place that work towards inclusivity and equity. For example, Best Buy has made it its mission to ensure underserved communities have an equitable future. Already Best Buy has worked with BIPOC businesses, started the Take Stock project, and provided $44 million to expand college prep and career opportunities for BIPOC students. Once a brand fully devotes its time to diversity, equity, and inclusion, only then can it embrace authentic advertising.
So how can brands use digital out-of-home to amplify Black voices?
DOOH advertising ranks high in visibility and ad recall. 90% of US adults notice OOH advertising, and with programmatic capabilities incorporated into the mix, marketers are guaranteed 2.5x more memory encoding and emotional intensity than static advertising. Brands can take advantage of this type of scale of reach and raise awareness of important issues, such as racial inequality, police brutality, and systemic racism. Multi-disciplinary design firm Cactus partnered with The Justice Collaborative to launch the ‘Need to Talk’ campaign. The campaign boosted awareness of the excessive policing in New York City and around the country, with alternative solutions to prevent brutality, support our youth, and solve homelessness. The billboard was strategically placed directly in front of the Times Square NYPD station.
DOOH displays can feature inspiring stories and achievements of Black individuals, both past and present, to educate and inspire audiences everywhere. Companies can partner with local organizations and community leaders to create DOOH campaigns encouraging engagement and dialogue about Black history, culture, and current events.
For example, OUTFRONT partnered with 100 Black Men of America to launch a campaign called "I'm Next." Local organizations nominated extraordinary Black young leaders in their communities to participate in the month-long campaign. A series of billboards spotlighted over thirty Black young adults nationwide, empowering them to say, "I'm Next." Michael Graham, Chair of Marketing & Communications Committee of 100 Black Men of America, Inc, recognizes why DOOH is a vital advertising medium saying, "It is a great opportunity for our mentees to see themselves, alongside their aspirations, on a public forum like billboards. This visualization aligns closely with our mission."
Community-Led and Focused
Companies are also collaborating with local artists to showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Black community. Lamar worked with Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG) to create a beautiful hand-painted mural with colors representing common vegetal dyes in African textiles and the BADG manifesto "we are liberatory, celebratory, collaborative, community, active, activists." The mural is located in Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York but will be shared nationwide on Lamar digital billboards during February. Founder of BADG, Malene Barnett, stated, "This mural represents our BADG manifesto, the foundation for our action-oriented membership as we drive the industry toward equitable and inclusive spaces."
DOOH is an unmissable advertising medium that can amplify Black voices while promoting a more inclusive and equitable society. The programmatic capabilities allow for flexible and relevant campaigns that have the power to elicit an emotional response that makes it hard for audiences to avoid. So what are you waiting for? If you haven't already, build a more representative and educational campaign with DOOH today. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.