Black Lives MatterBy Tom Dougherty
1 June 2020
Brands surprisingly respond to Black Lives Matter, sensing change
Few institutions are more wary of diving into the ocean of social issues than corporate America. So it was surprising and welcome that so many brands dove right into the current Black Lives Matter anger during this weekend’s protests.
Think of this. Within hours of the first marches protesting the shocking death of George Floyd over the weekend, major companies like Nike, Twitter and Netflix didn’t flinch. They issued support for our African Americans almost immediately.
Nike, in fact, distributed a new ad within hours of the Black Lives Matter marches Friday with this spot.
“There’s more to say, of course, about the current situation. I feel like our country is at a crossroads, and now the issues surrounding Black Lives Matter are out in the open. Even corporate America is talking about them.”
“Don’t pretend there’s not a problem in America. Don’t turn your back on racism. Don’t accept innocent lives being taken from us. Don’t make any more excuses.”
You might call Nike’s response clever, bridging from its theme of “Just Do It” to a different call to action. But the words are powerful and emotionally felt. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anything quite like it.
Black Lives Matter changing corporations
And Nike isn’t alone is supporting Black Lives Matter. Twitter changed its profile image to black with the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag. And I never would have thought Netflix would tweet its own support.
Incredible. Not just that corporate America chimed in. But that some of its members did it so quickly. It usually takes a legion of meetings before a large company will react to any social issue.
Does this signal a change? Maybe. It’s only a handful of brands responding right now but I do sense that most of America remains outraged at the death of George Floyd and, naively, many of us are now coming to terms with racism in this country.
There’s more to say, of course, about the current situation. I feel like our country is at a crossroads, and now the issues surrounding Black Lives Matter are out in the open.
Even corporate America is talking about them.
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