GOOGLE, New York / GOOGLE / 2022
Why is this work relevant for Titanium?
Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year, is characterized by mindless spending. But at a time when Black-owned businesses needed support more than ever before, we turned that day into a time to lift up Black-owned businesses, honor the craft that goes into the endless assortment of products they sell, and showcase that dollars can make real change in Black communities. The idea celebrates smaller, often overlooked businesses (78% of the featured businesses are women-owned), helping the business owners feel seen by elevating them to the same level of importance as the celebrities featured in our film.
In 2020, in partnership with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc., Google launched Black-owned Friday—reframing the busiest shopping day of the year as a moment to support Black-owned businesses. Last year, we wanted to maintain the momentum and cement it into culture and directly impact even more businesses
In 2020 there were so many brands bringing attention to issues affecting the Black community. But as we planned for the second Black-owned Friday in 2021, we wanted to do more than inspire—we needed people to act.
After a year of high-profile activism for Black-owned businesses, which were disproportionately affected by COVID, 70% of US shoppers were looking to shop Black-owned—but identifying them can be a difficult and tedious process. So we showed people how easily Google helps you find and support Black-owned businesses online and near you, no matter what you’re shopping for.
Describe the creative idea
Big brands have long used product placement in famous music videos to get attention for their brands, but smaller businesses don’t have the luxury of resources to secure celebrity talent to promote their products.
So to take the focus off of big sales and move Black Friday dollars into Black communities, we tapped Grammy-Award winning artist and small business owner T-Pain to write and produce a song that encourages consumers to support Black-owned businesses no matter what they’re shopping for. It called out a wide variety of products and became the soundtrack for an interactive video that let people directly shop over 100 products from 55 Black-owned businesses (78% women-owned).
Most importantly, we wanted to scale support beyond the video itself. The creative prominently displays Google's Black-owned business badge, demonstrating how to use Google to search for Black-owned shops near you, modeling the search behavior we want consumers to adopt.
Describe the strategy
After a year of high-profile activism for Black-owned businesses, which were disproportionately affected by COVID, our research showed that 88% of US shoppers were likely to shop from a Black-owned business, but 37% didn't know any—these consumers were our target audience. We wanted to show Black Friday shoppers how easily Google helps you find and support Black-owned businesses online and near you, no matter what you’re shopping for.
Our strategy was to show the breadth of Black-owned brands, and to show how easy it can be to find them using Google products.
Our call to action across the campaign was to "Search, shop and support Black-owned"—whether that was directly within our
Describe the execution
T-Pain’s custom track encourages people to wake up and consider shopping the wide breadth of Black-owned brands, sampling Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes’ iconic “Wake Up Everybody ft. Teddy Pendergrass,” a 70s anthem about the inequality happening during that time.
The interactive film follows a woman’s fantastical journey to discover Black-owned shops, featuring 100+ shoppable products from 55 Black-owned businesses. The website let people use Google Maps to see businesses near them, and shared resources for business owners, like Google’s Black-owned business badge and the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc’s ByBlack directory.
Launched ahead of Black Friday and brought to life by Nigerian-born director/music video visionary Daps, the film let us tap Black creators, producers, stylists, and photographers to share a story about the importance of Black-owned businesses for all consumers. It features real small business owners alongside multi-platinum selling artist Normani, comedian Desi Banks, and singer/actress Tanerélle.
List the results
The campaign empowered Black business owners and was picked up in global publications with 3.71B total consumers in readership. The film garnered 7M+ YouTube views in the first two weeks, 11M+ over the first month (126% Y/Y increase) and 54.6K+ total hashtag engagements (362% Y/Y increase). Social conversation around Black-owned businesses soared with a 115% increase in posts and 83% increase in overall mentions.
The shoppable experience had 1M+ visitors, with some businesses seeing their normal Black Friday revenues increase up to 3x. In addition to supporting the featured businesses, viewers sought out Black-owned businesses in their own neighborhoods. The featured query—“black owned shops near me”—grew 610% during Black Friday week, compared to the week before.
Search interest for “black-owned businesses” doubled compared to the previous two weeks (goal: +10ppt) and “Black owned Friday” reached an all time high in the last two years.
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