The pandemic has forced many businesses to pivot, with many even closing their doors permanently, and Black-owned businesses have been disproportionately impacted. A stunning 41% closed in the wake of COVID-19 (vs. 17% of white businesses). This year more than ever, these businesses needed genuine help, not just nominal support.
In order to make a real impact, we created an initiative to promote real change and support of Black-owned businesses all across our communities in America. We co-opted the biggest shopping moment of the year, to flip the focus (and most importantly funnel some of the massive amounts of spending) towards small Black-owned businesses. In partnership with the United States Black Chambers, Inc., we reimagined Black Friday as #BlackOwnedFriday.
We asked celebrated Black artists Wyclef Jean and Ari Lennox to write personalized jingles for real local Black-owned businesses they loved, which we turned into animated video odes (created by Black visual artists) as well as Spotify tracks. Wyclef also created an anthem for Black-Owned Friday and helped spread the word via press and social media about the value Black-owned businesses bring to their communities, and the help they need this year.
We used Google’s social platform to spotlight multiple Black-owned businesses to funnel shopping traffic their way and highlighted a new business each Friday during the campaign. We encouraged followers to share their favorite Black-owned businesses on social and provided GIF & sticker packs as well as statements of support that consumers could download and share. We also rolled out a “Black-Owned” attribute on Google Business listings (which allows businesses to identify themselves as Black-owned and helps consumers find Black-owned businesses when they are searching for them on Google Search and Maps), and also provided a downloadable toolkit of Google resources for Black-owned businesses to sign up, grow traffic and gain support.
The campaign garnered a huge amount of reach, with over half a billion PR impressions, with virtually no paid media support.
We also impacted social conversation with a +300% increase in mentions of ‘black-owned businesses’ and most importantly we drove real impact for the businesses featured (with GROUNDED seeing 3000% sales increase from IG traffic).
The goal of this work was of course to capture the attention of consumers -- but we only succeeded when they turned it into action. Because where America spends their dollars really can make change.
Google - Black-Owned Friday - Case Study