King Center, BBDO reimagine love for BHM

This Black History Month, and coinciding with Valentine’s Day, The King Center for Nonviolent Social Change is reimagining love to mean something much more than just romance.

“BE LOVE” urges people to look at love in another light – as a powerful force for good, advancing justice for all. 

Inspired by the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. “Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love,”  “BE LOVE” was created amid global tensions of the past year to promote unconditional love for humanity as a whole.

“BE LOVE” has a three-pronged call to action: (1) Be Love; (2) Build Community; and (3) Create a more just, humane, and peaceful world, beginning with signing a pledge. 

To help spark engagement around signing the pledge this Valentine’s Day, The King Center launched an influencer campaign, sending out boxes of customized Conversation Hearts, that seek to change the conversation around love. Instead of the typical “Luv ya,” the confections carry messages like “Stand 4 Justice” “Friend an Enemy” and “Take the Pledge” stamped on each candy heart – inviting recipients to sign the pledge and encourage their followers to do the same.

Leading up to Valentine’s Day, The King Center ran a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal featuring a personal note from Dr. Bernice A. King, encouraging readers to take the pledge. See attached. 

Watch the video, narrated Dr. Bernice A. King herself. Watch below:

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The campaign also includes bold OOH executions with eye-catching banners using love for change, featured in cities such as New York, Minneapolis, Atlanta, LA, Memphis, Chicago, Philly, Dallas, San Francisco, Houston and Boston.

All efforts drive to, where people can sign the pledge to “BE LOVE” and choose to register for Nonviolence365 “BE LOVE Series” virtual trainings. Upon signing, participants will also be prompted to download one of the BE LOVE graphics and share to their own social channels, furthering the cause.

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The work was created by our friends at BBDO with a talented cross-agency team spread across US offices including Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, and LA. This collaborative approach intentionally promotes inclusion and unity from the ground up—just like the campaign.


CLIENT: The King Center


  • BBDO Worldwide CCO: David Lubars
  • BBDO ATL CCO: Robin Fitzgerald
  • Senior Director: Khari Mpagazehe (BBDO NY)
  • Account Manager: Cameron Carr (BBDO NY)
  • Strategy Directors: Kristin Tolbert (BBDO NY), Emily Grim (BBDO ATL)
  • Creative Directors: Mary O’Keefe, Mike Hanley (BBDO ATL)
  • Associate Creative Directors: Anna Taylor (BBDO ATL), Temnete Sebhatu, Joe Russomano (BBDO NY), Stephanie Fernandes (BBDO SF)
  • Art Directors: Alee Bono (BBDO LA), Teiano Lesa (Energy BBDO)
  • Copywriters: Colin Hodges (BBDO ATL), Amani Brown (BBDO LA), Madeline Stoiber (Energy BBDO)
  • Sr. Designer: Jason Wong (BBDO NY)
  • Director of Design Innovation: Stewart Devlin (BBDO NY)
  • Senior Integrated Producer: Reid Howard (BBDO ATL)
  • Studio Director: Brad Castlen (BBDO ATL)
  • Interactive Producer: Chava Quinn
  • QA Manager: Jimmy McGee
  • UX/UI Designer: Clara Santamaria
  • Production Design Lead: Ray McGale (BBDO NY)
  • Senior Post Producer: Allie Kolb (BBDO NY)
  • Studio Director: AJ Rowe (BBDO Studios NY)
  • Head of Content Operations: Andrew Osborne (BBDO NY)
  • Post Producer: Morgan Ammons (BBDO Studios NY)
  • Animation: Ross Holter
  • Web Development: M16 Marketing
  • Copy Editors: Mary Scott, Noelle Plachta (BBDO ATL)
  • Creative Resource Manager: Natalie Taylor (BBDO NY)
  • Senior Project Manager: Becky Ocampos (BBDO ATL)
  • Project Manager: Laura Paulino (BBDO SF)
  • Media: Hearts & Science
  • Senior Director, Strategy: Julianna Bowman (Hearts & Science ATL)
  • Director, Social & Search Investment: Samara Nelson (Hearts & Science NY)
  • Associate Director, Digital Investment: Elijah Halpern (Hearts & Science NY)
  • Director, OOH Investment: Meghan Walsh (Hearts & Science NY)
  • Negotiator, OOH Investment: Clay Lenahan (Hearts & Science NY)
  • Senior Director, Local TV & Radio Investment: Karen Hoyt (Hearts & Science ATL)
  • Supervisor, Local TV & Radio Investment: Andriena Coleman (Hearts & Science ATL)
  • Senior Director, National Video Investment: Robin Beattys (Hearts & Science NY)
  • Director, National Video Investment: Krista Venedam (Hearts & Science NY)
  • Director, National Video Investment: Lesley James (Hearts & Science NY)
  • Director, National Radio & Audio Investment: Robert Hunt (Hearts & Science NY)
  • Supervisor, National Radio & Audio Investment: Lara Lieberman (Hearts & Science NY)
  • Senior Director, Print Investment: Julie Hirsh (Hearts & Science NY)
  • Supervisor, Print Investment: Gillian Golub (Hearts & Science NY)
  • Assistant Negotiator, Print Investment: Alexa Dayan (Hearts & Science NY)

PUBLIC RELATIONS: Fleishman Hillard

  • Senior Partner and General Manager: Jerry Tolk (Fleishman Hillard ATL)
  • Senior Vice President: Chavonne Jones (Fleishman Hillard NY)
  • Global Diversity Champion: Gaetane Joseph  (Fleishman Hillard ATL)