I am taking a little detour this week to focus on the undeniable hurt that is going on right now in this country and across the globe. Because what is a platform such as a blog, social media, or website if you don’t use it as a voice with something meaningful to say?
Like many of us this Tuesday morning, who are so glued to our phones, the first thing I grabbed after brushing my teeth was my cell to glance at the news and control my FOMO via Instagram–as if I had missed out on something in the past 8 hours.
Instead of pictures of friends posting their perfectly posed breakfast or 50th pic of their baby, I came across a sea of blacked out images with captions reading #blackouttuesday.
It was powerful.
It was a visual representation saying to us “What do you have to share or like today that is more important than what is going on right now?” “How are you going to use your voice today?”
What stood out to me in the endless blackout scroll were bright, colorful ads and brands. And it got me thinking: As marketers, we question whether we want to get involved in these events and controversies.
The answer is you are already involved.
We [advertisers and marketers] shape society. In fact, we spend time, money and resources, to create strategies surrounding our marketing approach and the conversations we want to start with audiences. The messages and imagery we put out there have weight. Who we do and do not represent in our content. And how minorities are portrayed. We need to be conscious of that and spend time, money, and resources to change the conversation.
Don’t believe me. Brands play a huge role in social views and culture.
Even in complete branding ignorance…
My call to action today is that you educate yourself because you need to understand that you do not understand. We still have a lot to learn in this industry with how we tell stories and use our voice and platforms. Check your principles and values at the boardroom door!
I’ll leave you with the wisdom of Trevor Noah, a South African comedian, who turned to comedy because it was one of the only ways he was able to cope as a boy living through the ugliness of apartheid.
Noah’s book “Born a Crime,” was eye-opening for me. As a white Hispanic woman, I have the privilege of hiding my race. It made me understand that as much as I didn’t feel it, privilege is real. Moreover, we need to have uncomfortable conversations and finally take the rose-colored glasses off our faces.
I ask you to take the time to watch both.