advertising and other stuff. no, really.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Race and advertising.

It’s the topic of our first podcast and it’s a lengthy one for several reasons. First, I’ve had this topic on the radar for a long time and finally was able to get time to start a new podcast (apart from my regular stint on the Beancast). Angela and I found a few hours last week to talk with Hadji Williams, ad creative and author of Knock The Hustle.

I’d wanted to get him on some kind of episode for a while now to discuss his book, which many prominent ad bloggers like myself have reviewed and loved. (Yes, it’s on Kindle. Read it.) But I also wanted him to give voice to the things many say in comments on diversity articles but are shouted down over. It’s just has more impact hearing someone speak about it instead of having to sort through 100 comments from four people jumping all over each other.

More importantly, when the only ones doing the talking are giving speeches saying there’s no “there” there, it’s time for a different take.

Many people like HighJive, Hadji, Harry Webber, Ken Wheaton etc., end up marginalized by naysayers who think the issue of diversity is a non-issue. As if to prove the point, I was in the middle of editing the session when Ad Age came out this week with another “We need to do more” article that several people immediately jumped on.

I think there are a lot of contributing factors that make this issue something that won’t be solved by a Facebook group alone. Apart from the Madison Avenue Project by Washington attorney Cyrus Mehri, there are issues of cultural cluelessness in the actual work itself, the feeding of talent into the pipeline and the involvement of brands.

It’s a long show broken into two parts, an hour each, but I think Hadji brings a unique perspective that discusses the issue in a far more civil way than you’ve seen discussed in blog comments before, not to mention I think we bring a perspective that I don’t from agency heads.

A few technical notes...

- Skype did its best to hold for the three hours we talked, but LA + CT + Paris is too much to ask. We tried to cut out a lot of the “Skypeness” where we could, but some remains. I just didn’t want to limit some of what was said because there were good points being made.

- Yeah, I know, the breathing thing near the mic. Working on it.

- While it is going to eventually be on iTunes, it takes time to appear there until we have a few shows under our belt. For now, direct links again:

Adverve #1 - part 1

Adverve #1
- part 2

On a separate note, anyone who may be uncomfortable hearing this topic or the things we bring up and who ends up unfollowing me, or you stop reading the blog, or whatever, fine. Do what ya gotta do. Thanks for staying this long.

Having said that, and while it is a serious topic, the gist of the new podcast will be that it covers a lot of themes in different ways, some serious, some not. Subsequent shows will also run far shorter in length.

Check it out.


KissMyBlackAds said...

That show was epic! Great job I'm glad you did it and I appreciate the fearless way you did it. You guys proved that there is a "way" to have a conversation on race while not being all that P.C. and I really dig that. As I tweeted Hadji earlier today, "where there was a mountain of respect before, there's now a mountain range." Same goes for you. Hadji was as insightful as ever and you guys really held it down.

I think you called me an "urban blog" and for that I'm gonna have to unfollow you.

But real talk you guys did your thing, so props to you all.

P.S. I'm linking to this if you hate it let me know and I'll take it down.

Danny G. said...

Great, great podcast. You & Angela did a great a job, and I'm an unabashed admirer of Hadji's.

I loved the whole discussion of awards and the notion "universal truths." So right on point.

shaun. said...

great job. I look forward to future podcasts!!! really!!! do it soon.

Anonymous said...

Love what I'm hearing. Only by looking the subject in the eyes will we stare it down. Keep it up.

I'm curious to the role of commerce and language on the topic. Seems Black folk don't represent a lot of new business opportunities for GM agencies. And without the barrier of language, many non-AA creatives try to crib African-American culture as there own to the delight of their CDs. Authenticity is not their goal, emotional empathy is not their focus. They believe Black work is never going to get an award so you may as well as let any suburban living, Ed Hardy wearing, Jay Z listening intern do it.