Digital Craft > Form

THE MASSACRE OF BLACK WALL STREET

ATLANTIC RE:THINK, New York / HBO / 2020

CampaignCampaignLayout(opens in a new tab)
Demo Film
Presentation Image
1 of 0 items

Overview

Credits

Overview

Describe the creative idea

Our content studio set out to promote HBO’s Watchmen by retelling the buried history of the Tulsa Massacre, the real-life event that opens the show. To truly depict the devastation and gravity of this horrific event, and tell the story in an impactful way, we borrowed from a format inherent to The Watchmen: a comic book. Set in Tulsa’s Greenwood neighborhood, our completely original graphic novella depicted the events preceding and following the massacre. This illustrated story was complemented by historical context and an attempt to answer a question: Were its prosperous citizens not devastated by this racist attack, what would Greenwood be today?

Describe the execution

HBO was keen to partner with a studio who could provide a fresh, focused perspective that hadn’t otherwise been covered by media outlets before the campaign’s launch. We decided to dig into the brief but hugely important set piece that opened the series. Readers of “The Massacre of Black Wall Street” would quickly recall this scene, but wouldn’t learn the history behind it until reading the content. Raising awareness through page views was important, but on-page and social engagement, indicating user connection with the message, was paramount.

Beyond driving tune-in, our campaign was intended to position HBO as a thought leader in today’s conversations around race. The Tulsa massacre hasn’t been general knowledge, in Tulsa or otherwise, and knowledge of the events have been actively suppressed in the hundred years since it happened. We strove to amplify this story and educate readers about one striking example of the legacy of American racism, and suggest why Tulsa was the perfect setting for HBO’s new series.

We also hoped to attract fans of the original Watchmen comics with our graphic novel format, which we scripted and storyboarded in-house. Information about the Tulsa massacre, especially primary accounts, is hard to find. We dedicated significant time to upfront research, then coordinated with a remote illustrator and colorist, always balancing the violent, traumatic nature of the Tulsa Massacre with the importance of telling the unembellished truth. Our designers also had to find creative ways to display a medium usually meant for print into seamless mobile and digital experiences.

We went from kick-off to launch in nine weeks - it required quick work without sacrificing creative or editorial integrity.

More Entries from Digital Illustration & Image Design in Digital Craft

24 items

Grand Prix Cannes Lions
ASTRONOMICAL

Technological Achievement in Digital Craft

ASTRONOMICAL

EPIC GAMES, EPIC GAMES, INC.

(opens in a new tab)

More Entries from ATLANTIC RE:THINK

17 items

Shortlisted Cannes Lions
WHY WE DRIVE

Digital Illustration

WHY WE DRIVE

PORSCHE, ATLANTIC RE:THINK

(opens in a new tab)