Seattle agency DNA is giving back to its community this holiday weekend by introducing the #BlackBlackFriday initiative to raise support and visibility for Seattle-based Black-owned businesses. The agency teamed with the Brandcenter at VCU on the effort.
“Our vision was to change the perception of Black Friday from one about deals and bargains, to one that supports dreams, community and opportunity,” explains Chris Witherspoon, president of DNA.
The project centers on a specially created website with links to aggregated lists of Black-owned stores. Visitors are encouraged to document their visits across their social media channels to further amplify these shops. The online and social media program also offers digital stickers that were inspired by the “I Voted” stickers.
To help with project DNA approached graduate students at the Brandcenter at VCU. A team of strategists, art directors, writers and UX designers created the online sticker activation, the branding, the website, and activation.
“They have a great pulse on how social is being used and how to activate it,” says Witherspoon. He and VCU executive director Vann Graves, who are close friends, are also involved with the Adland diversity advocacy group 600 & Rising. They talk frequently about projects they can collaborate on and what the students like working on.
“As a student learning to solve problems for brands, I saw no better opportunity to help business owners who look like me—with the same dreams as me—in times like these,” said Nana Dadzie, a strategy student at Brandcenter and #Blackblackfriday project leader.