I recently opened a piece of email from Marmot, an outdoor outfitter and clothing retailer, and found a picture of a black man and woman wearing Marmot parkas in a winter mountainscape. It surprised me. I can’t remember ever seeing a single black person in a hero shot in a Marmot promotion before. It’s 2020 people. We can do better.
Here’s the Black Challenge. I am asking advertisers to commit today to using only black people as models in their promotional work for one year. 365 days. Think of it as a reparations appeal to marketers who have been casting white people in ads for as long as anyone can remember. If casting directors think this will affect sales, they may be right but they’re also not giving U.S. consumers enough credit.
Perhaps it’s a goofy story but I used to play basketball at the East 54th street recreation center in NY and was the only white guy. After a while I didn’t notice a skin color difference until I put my hands up in front of my face for a pass.
This is how you make change. You don’t talk about it, or blog about it, you just change. Come on advertisers, take the challenge. If you do, I smell a Wall Street Journal cover story!