Our client wanted to connect with African-American consumers and use its advertising voice for good and growth. So, “The Talk” campaign was created. For black parents, “The Talk” is not about the birds and the bees but takes on a more serious tone, discussing the realities of racial bias.
Research uncovered that black mothers have unique conversations with their children to prepare them for biases that may soon affect their lives. The core insight underscored this point by sharing that black mothers oftentimes must prepare their daughters for the first time they hear, “You’re pretty…for a black girl” or when they must tell their children that they must work “twice as hard” to be successful. Based on these insights, it was determined the most impactful way to help break down the boundaries caused by racial bias, prejudice and stereotyping would be to promote awareness and meaningful conversations about racial bias. Going in, we also understood the media savviness of the consumer. Collaborating to intentionally design a plan to demonstrate the commitment to the African-American community and drive business goals, it was pertinent that authenticity and tactfulness be at forefront of communications or else well-intended efforts could have produced the opposite effect.
Our strategy focused on three key pillars.
1) Authentically speak to African-American consumers directly and showcase P&G as an organization that understands not only their household needs but can also speak directly to the issues facing them
2) Create safe spaces for meaningful dialogue, from all sides, around the realities of racial bias
3) Build consumer advocacy to safeguard against negative reactions
We pinpointed where black consumers felt most comfortable sharing this deeply personal and often emotional reality. We also prioritized getting personally invested networks and influencers involved in the conversation to make the integration work harder.
All partners were inspired by this powerful message, delivering an extra layer of authenticity that was not easily achieved. Through black-owned, nationally syndicated radio shows, P&G’s MBIB curated conversations around “The Talk” through the voices of trusted DJs. Giving it a personal angle, DJ personalities like Steve Harvey and Erica Campbell led authentic dialogues around the campaign and shared their own anecdotes. On TV, opportunities on BET were created across major tent poles to amplify “The Talk.” MBIB honored activist Tamika Mallory as Solange Knowles presented her with the “Shine A Light” award at the BET Awards. A few weeks later, “The Talk”/MBIB celebrated black women at the BET Black Girls Rock! Awards through a donation to Black Girls Lead. On OWN, “The Talk” was integrated into the grand finale of Queen Sugar and featured a special mention by Oprah Winfrey. The conversation was carefully introduced to a diverse national primetime audience when MBIB partnered with ABC’s Black-ish to fully integrate “The Talk” into an entire episode. By working closely with the Executive Producer, Kenya Barris, who personally endorsed the show, the script was crafted to showcase what a modern day “talk” would be like and remind others that real-life biases remain for black families.