Cannes Lions

Google - Your Spend Has Power #SpendBlack

GOOGLE, London / GOOGLE / 2022

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Google is deeply committed to helping the economy grow in the UK, and making sure our products and programmes are helpful in the moments that matter the most for our users. Google believes that increasing economic opportunities for our Black community is a powerful first step to helping Black British entrepreneurs succeed.

Objective: Get Black British businesses to thrive by inspiring consumers to change their shopping behaviour, and empower entrepreneurs to grow their business, so people can easily find and buy from them.


“Your Spend has Power” #SpendBlack campaign empowers and inspires positive change amongst both businesses and consumers. Every pound spent with Black-owned businesses will help. Google raised awareness of the structural and systematic racism our Black entrepreneurs face, so people could make more informed purchase decisions, and choose to make change. At the same time, empowering Black British entrepreneurs to grow their business online, so people can easily find and buy from them.

The campaign committed to making sure that Black business owners' voices were heard, and did not get lost behind the Google brand. It was important to make sure that Black Business owners were at the forefront of this campaign, and the role of Google was to offer them a platform, with a powerful call-to-action to start addressing the challenges they face.


The campaign targets consumers from outside the Black community that are open to changing habits for society, and may already do things like buying organic, offsetting carbon footprint, and volunteering. Due to their economic circumstances (top 50% earners between 25-64+) they are open to spending more to create social change. The campaign does not target ‘Black people to spend on Black-owned businesses’ - they already know why this is important.

The strategy was to empower change amongst both businesses and consumers. 1) Get Black-owned businesses to become more visible online, so new customers can find them. To do this, Google offered them free training and mentoring. 2) Educate consumers to make them aware and inspired to change their shopping behaviour. With a powerful and emotional, yet simple call-to-action - ‘Your Spend has Power’ #SpendBlack - we highlighted the challenges Black-British entrepreneurs face, and how consumers can act to make change.


September 2021 - January 2022.

Using email and social content on Twitter and Instagram, Black Pound Day and Google’s offer of mentoring reached over 1 million Black-owned entrepreneurs. Industry leaders and influencers like Levi Roots, and Munroe Bergdorf, supported #SpendBlack. We also invited YouTubers like Ken Okoroafor, Courtney Daniella, and Chanel Ambrose to host branding workshops.

Black Pound Day and Google took over all the ad space in The Observer, a well known British publishing house within The Guardian group. With over 500,000 readers, the magazine supported our audience criteria; open to learning about societal issues, and acting on making changes to create a more equitable society. The 22 page campaign featured 1) 13 entrepreneurs, consciously covering a wide breadth of businesses from organic dog treats, to a publishing house for Black authors. 2) 3 double page advertorials, highlighting businesses who increased their sales after participating in Google’s mentoring programme.

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