All Articles Marketing Marketing Strategy How marketing agencies are marking Juneteenth

How marketing agencies are marking Juneteenth

While many ad agencies are giving employees the day off for the federal Juneteenth National Independence Day holiday, here’s a look at the action some are taking.

4 min read

MarketingMarketing Strategy

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The 2020 murder of George Floyd sparked growth in social activism across the United States. The Black Lives Movement spurred individuals and businesses to speak up and take action for Black citizens and for others of underrepresented communities.

This year will mark the second year that Juneteenth is a federal holiday. While change can take time and there is still a lot of work to be done, many marketing agencies are putting action behind their words.

SmartBrief reached out to several marketing agencies to see what actions they’re taking around Juneteenth. Here’s how they have outlined their plans:

3BlackDot, a global entertainment company

Under the Gaming While Black (GWB) brand, 3BlackDot is partnering with local Los Angeles Black-owned businesses throughout the month of June to create meaningful reasons to gather in real life and give back to the local community in ways that celebrate the best in our humanity. GWB and its brand partner Doritos is hosting a three-part event series, which includes a Juneteenth community bike ride, a produce giveaway and an in-person Mario Kart gameplay tournament.

The full 3BD team is encouraged to volunteer and participate at these events. 3BD hopes that this event series will amplify the great work these businesses are doing for their communities, while creating a positive impact on real lives and further sparking conversations of empowerment and excellence.

Elephant, a creative agency

Diversity, equity and inclusion continues to be the focus at Elephant as part of ourcommitment to change. In observance of Juneteenth, our DEI Group hosted a Film Club discussion on Thursday, June 16, around the drama “Miss Juneteenth,” prior to closing on Friday, June 17. We will discuss the themes of the film, other topics and issues related to Juneteenth, and ways to make an impact this year.

TRG (formerly The Richards Group)

In celebration of Juneteenth, one of TRG’s employee resource groups, BLK@TRG, is hosting a special guided tour of the African American Museum in Dallas. It is the only museum of its kind in the Southwest, devoted to the preservation and display of African American artistic, cultural and historical materials. It also has one of the largest African American folk art collections in the United States. TRG is covering the cost of tickets for all employees who wish to attend the weekend of June 19, starting Friday.


This year, VMLY&R in collaboration with WPP will be hosting a virtual celebration for employees themed “Soul Food” where we will take an in-depth look at the cultural impact and importance of nourishing the whole person — food to nourish your soul, music to move your soul, education to enrich your soul and fellowship to comfort your soul. The initiative is led by the agency’s Black Employee Resource Group called Fluorescent.

Additionally, local offices are hosting opt in parties (for those employees who are comfortable being in person) where food will be provided as well as a happy hour in some cases.

The local activations in offices will include a viewing space for the above mentioned virtual celebration and also feature food provided by Black-owned local businesses. The Black and Brown ERG leaders from across the network were excited to collectively use our resources to create a dynamic afternoon and played an active role in structuring this celebrations, events and programming of the “Soul Food” event.


For SmartBrief’s part, we help marketing professionals stay on top of multicultural marketing through our free newsletters, including one from the AAF’s Mosaic Center. We also created an Inclusive Language Style guide to help our writing be more inclusive (obviously) and to filter out any bias each of us might have.

For our parent company, Future, it donated US $1 million in 2020 in advertising to organizations that support the Black Lives Matter movement. As part of our ongoing efforts, Future initiated other actions, such as ensuring equal representation of Black people in original and stock photography used in content.

While some changes do happen overnight, overcoming long-term, social racial inequality can take longer. As long as we’re doing our best to take concrete steps forward, we’re making progress.


Mike Driehorst is a senior editor at SmartBrief, where he pens this monthly column and helps curate the most important news in marketing each day. 

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