While many brands have released statements in support of Black Lives Matter, few have gone out of their way to advertise directly to the communities where protesters have been rallying for the movement.
For Juneteenth, the annual June 19 holiday commemorating the emancipation of U.S. slaves, Twitter has launched a wide range of initiatives in support of Black creators, causes and voices, including turning several real tweets about racial inequality into billboards.
The ads were specifically placed in cities that have received widespread attention for their highly attended and enduring protests against police violence: Atlanta, Chicago, Louisville, Minneapolis, New York, Los Angeles, Oakland and Philadelphia.
“We wanted to show up in the cities that have become the epicenters of the protests in the past few weeks, places that have become rallying points for the outcry of #BlackLivesMatter and the overwhelming demand for equity,” said God-is Rivera, global director of culture and community for Twitter. “But we didn’t want to show up in these places as Twitter; we wanted to amplify the perspectives and thoughts of people who are sharing these intense feelings about what’s happening in the world today. And we wanted them to show up in their own words.”
The ads were created by Twitter’s in-house marketing team. They continue an ongoing effort by Twitter to elevate real tweets from normal users into the non-digital world via out-of-home ad placements.
For the Juneteenth campaign, Twitter selected messaging ranging in theme from empowerment and encouragement to blunt messages confronting critics of Black Lives Matter.
Throughout the protests of recent weeks—and the years preceding them—Twitter has remained one of the central platforms for discussion around Black Lives Matter.
Since May 25, when George Floyd was killed by Minneapolis police, more than 340 million tweets have been posted about the Black Lives Matter movement and related topics, averaging about 230 tweets per second, Twitter announced today.
In addition to the ad campaign, Twitter spent much of today sharing and amplifying Black voices, including a collection of artwork inspired by #BlackJoy and a related video shared by the brand’s Blackbirds account, which supports its Black employees and allies.