As America raged this past weekend, making it loud and clear that it has had enough of police brutality targeted at Black people, major brands, networks and ad agencies took to social media to make their stand against systematic racism which is rampant in the United States.
Late Friday night, we reported that Nike was one of the first brands to react by releasing a 60-second spot from Wieden+Kennedy on Instagram. The all-type ad encourages people to stop being silent and making excuses when it comes to racism. It went on to urge people to become a part of the change. The spot now has 14 million views.
Minneapolis agency Colle McVoy, posted a heartbreaking message on Instagram, “Our agency is heartbroken. We know words are not enough to show support for our neighbors in pain or to condemn the systemic injustice and racism that got us where we are today. We are working to take the pain we all feel and turn it into purpose and action. We are united in grief, but also hopeful for justice and peace.”
The Walt Disney Company released this memo to employees regarding the weekend’s protests.
Dear Fellow Employee,
The recent killing of George Floyd as well as other instances of lethal attacks and harassment of unarmed black citizens in our nation continue to drive outrage and calls for action by people of all cultural backgrounds, including many of our employees. Feelings of grief and anger cause us to confront the inscrutable idea that the lives of some are deemed less valuable – and less worthy of dignity, care and protection – than the lives of others.
While these devastating incidents are not new, there’s something unique about what’s happening in this moment. The pandemic coupled with these recent injustices have pushed the issues of racial disparity into the open.
We, too, are struggling to make sense of the recent tragedies that leave us feeling overcome with sorrow. While we don’t have all the answers, we resolve to use our compassion, our creative ideas and our collective sense of humanity to ensure we are fostering a culture that acknowledges our people’s feelings and their pain. We also realize that now more than ever is the time for us all to further strengthen our commitment to diversity and inclusion everywhere.
We intend to focus our efforts and resources to compassionately and constructively talk about these matters openly and honestly as we seek solutions. We intend to keep the conversation going, not just today, but for as long as it takes to bring about real change.
Bob Chapek, Bob Iger & Latondra Newton
Other brands speaking out on social media included Netflix, which posted on Instagram, “To be silent is to be complicit,” as well as Marvel, HBO Max, Under Armour, Amazon, YouTube, TikTok, the NFL, Adidas, Reebok and many others and 72andSunny. See below: