GM Highlights HBCU Commitment In First Work From Majority

General Motors is launching a campaign spotlighting the brand’s sponsorship of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) and commitment to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

It is the first work from Majority, which GM hired in August as its creative agency of record for diversity marketing initiatives, adding to its multicultural agency roster, which also includes Carol H. Williams Advertising, Spike DDB and Casanova INC.

The 60-second spot highlights both electric and gas-powered vehicles across GM brands -- Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac.

The spot will air nationally during SWAC sporting broadcasts starting March 11 on ESPN+ and ESPNU, and will continue throughout 2023. The integrated campaign also includes digital, social and print.



Creative features an “intentional, authentic, and culturally relevant storyline,” according to the automaker. 

“We wanted to show the stories that few get to witness: the lesser-known athletes, scientists, engineers, artists, musicians and makers who all help to write the next powerful chapter of the SWAC’s legacy, all while featuring our amazing Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles,” says Tarshena Armstrong, GM director of diversity marketing and development.

GM is in its second year of a multiyear sponsorship with the Southwestern Athletic Conference.

While this isn’t the first time HBCUs have been featured in GM marketing, "it is the first commercial and campaign dedicated to honoring HBCU culture and rich history, while spotlighting our sponsorship of the SWAC, one of the premier HBCU conferences in the country,” Charles Chapman, GM multicultural marketing manager, tells Marketing Daily.

“Making History” is directed by Grammy-winning director Alan Ferguson and features a soundtrack called “Stay On It” by Black composer Julius Eastman.

Filmed on Southern University and Prairie View A&M University campuses, the campaign shows students and alumni displaying their HBCU pride while voiceover of southern hip-hop legend Scarface poetically conveys the SWAC experience: “We are past, present and future, all in one. Because the best way to honor our history is to make history.”

The spot honors the tradition of SWAC marching bands and athletes, including Hall of Fame quarterback and Grambling State legend Doug Williams, says Asmirh Davis, founding partner and chief strategy officer, Majority.

"We wanted to push beyond the expected in order to honor the full legacy and contributions of the SWAC, as well as the continuing legacy being written today,” Davis says.

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