Brief description of the plunge:
Doritos has launched Solid Black, an initiative to raise the profile and provide resources for black creators, according to a press release. The Frito-Lay brand is investing more than $5 million in the initiative.
Doritos selected seven “change makers” who use innovation to advance culture and help the black community. Each will receive $50,000 to support their work, which will be featured on the Doritos website with a special landing page, on social media, on packaging and in television commercials. Beginning July 2, every Friday, the brand will tell the story of a different “transformer” on its social channels. The TV ad, created in partnership with BET and featuring Solid Black, first appeared during the BET Awards on June 27.
Doritos is also donating $100,000 to the National Urban League (NUL). The first 1,000 consumers who donate $10 or more to the nonprofit will receive a limited-edition Doritos package designed by Baltimore-based artist Megan Lewis. This initiative and the NUL donation are part of a broader commitment by PepsiCo’s parent company to promote racial equality in the company, industry and community.
Diving to the Bottom Line:
As part of Doritos’ Solid Black initiative, the snack brand is putting financial and marketing muscle into efforts to bring attention to black creators across disciplines. Efforts like the brand’s #AmplifyBlackVoices work from 2020 have been commonplace for brands as they have tried to grab consumers’ attention in the wake of the racial equality protests that began last summer.
However, Doritos’ latest action recognizes that amplifying black creatives is not enough to make a real difference and make a genuine connection with young consumers; amplification also requires resources and support. To that end, Doritos’ $5 million commitment, use of its marketing apparatus and NUL donations will help the brand avoid accusations of “hashtag activism” and “headwashing.”
“We are proud to provide a platform and resources to innovators and creators who are making a lasting cultural impact, and hope that their stories can inspire the next generation to continue their efforts to create a more equitable and diverse world,” Stacy Taffet, vice president of marketing for Frito-Lay North America, said in a press release.
The initiative comes after several other brands began working to bring black creatives into advertising and art. The Lifewtr brand, owned by PepsiCo, collaborated with Issa Rae on a platform dedicated to fair representation in the arts. Similarly, Procter & Gamble launched a content creation, talent development and partnership platform to bring black creators into advertising, film and television, and Häagen-Dazs teamed up with producer Lena Waite and committed to pay $1.5 million over the next three years to support diverse creators.
The Doritos effort is part of parent company PepsiCo‘s plan to spend more than $400 million over five years to support the black community and increase black representation at the company. These efforts by brands, along with commitments by major marketers including McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, demonstrate how the marketing world is working to address racial inequality across the media landscape.