Is BLM a hashtag, an organization, a human right, a movement, a political statement, or all the above?

Brand activism in the Black Lives Matter era

This article is part of a series of articles from the WARC Guide to brand activism in the Black Lives Matter era.

The ability of “Black Lives Matter” to transcend the gaze of a general population definition gives it a superpower. A provocative and oft-debated syllogism. A poignant literary masterpiece. An ever-evolving catalyst of conversation. And to activists, allies, and accomplices, a forever mood.

But whatever it is to you, it most certainly means something different to groups across your office, your neighborhood, your company, and beyond. However Black Lives Matter is defined, though, it is something brands must address.

Also included in the Guide is custom research from Wunderman Thompson (sample provided by Prodege – special thanks to Mark Truss, Diana Oricco, and E’lana Jordan), and the real-time market research platform Suzy (thanks to Maddie Brown). Stay tuned for some upcoming neuroscience research that will be published on WARC from Maria Pocovi and her team at Emotion Research Lab on how consumers have reacted to some of the most well-known commercials from brands addressing Black Lives Matter. (Thanks to QuestionPro for providing the sample for that research.) Using mixed research methodologies from quantitative studies, qualitative insights from experts, and facial recognition to close the empathy gap in the absence of focus groups during a socially-distanced reality, those studies were fielded in September 2020 and were conducted among almost 2,500 US respondents.

Read on for more actionable takeaways from the Guide!

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