FMCG giant Procter & Gamble (P&G) has released an ad chronicling Black mothers having to talk to their children about racial bias. The video, entitled The Talk is part of P&G's decade-old My Black is Beautiful initiative for positive representation of Black women.
In fictional scenarios recreating very real conversations across several decades, The Talk addresses everyday symptoms of racism like peer bullying, academic and professional discrimination, and police violence. The ad ends with the phrase, "Let's all talk about 'the talk' so we can end the need to have it", and a referral to the hashtag #TalkAboutBias.
What distinguishes this campaign from less successful social consciousness brand messages seen earlier this year is that P&G doesn't try to add a positive – possibly brand-enabled – spin on the issue. Instead, the brand uses its platform to highlight a dimension of parenting that many people will never have to face. P&G stressed that "every aspect of the film included the essential contributions and guidance of creatives, producers, filmmakers and clients of colour."
"Our goal with The Talk is to help raise awareness about the impact of bias," said Damon Jones, director of global company communications at P&G. "We are also hopeful that we can make progress toward a less biased future by recognising the power of people of all backgrounds and races showing up for one another."
For more on the opportunities and pitfalls of socially responsible brand messaging, see our Diversity Outlook Innovation Platform, Brands Take a Stand from our Currency of Dissent Macro Trend, and Surviving Marketing Fails.