Black History Month offers an opportunity for brands to not only take part in a pivotal cultural moment with thoughtful influencer campaigns, but also reflect on how effectively they’re elevating and prioritizing diversity throughout the year. This year, social media platforms have helped set the stage. TikTok, for one, has launched a campaign called Celebrating Blackness, which highlights Black creators, artists, and other notable performances through live events.
As for brands, the most successful examples of influencer-driven Black History Month campaigns this year haven’t been short-term campaigns at all. They’re long-term commitments to diverse representation. The companies below have delivered the right message by curating a clever selection of community-grown entrepreneurs, rooting their content in tangible action, and partnering with influencers who followers trust.
Target: Supporting the Black community year-round
One of the pitfalls for Black History Month campaigns can be their limited, one-and-done impact. But Target is demonstrating that allyship is a long-term journey. By partnering with Jolie Noir, a Black, women-owned athleisure brand, and Jam and Rico, a Vogue-approved jewelry brand with a Caribbean twist, Target has positioned itself as an ongoing supporter of Black creators. Both brands began as microinfluencers on social media and have a loyal following.
Adobe: Choosing the right campaign leaders
Adobe smartly tapped its own Black Employee Network to create a multifaceted campaign. The network chose influencers who deeply resonate with the Black community, such as Blair Imani and Monique Jones, to participate in the company’s popular Women Create Wednesdays series, which is broadcast on the tech giant’s TikTok and Instagram channels. The series uses Adobe’s already-popular platforms to amplify the voices of Black women.
Nike: Curated cross-channel content
Cultivating lasting affiliations with Black athletes-influencers has enabled Nike to tap a variety of influential voices when it came to their latest Black History Month campaign. This year, the content component is a well-researched podcast, with a variety of participants who speak to the brand’s ethos of sportsmanship, creativity, and empowerment.
Participants include swimming sensation Simone Manuel, tennis superstar and mental health advocate Naomi Osaka, and basketball’s rising talent Diandra Tchatchouang. By mixing athletes who have a large Instagram following with mega-influencers like Adwoa Aboah, the brand has created an varied line-up that elevates Black voices around a variety of issues.
Food52: Community-fueled social influence
Sometimes, a successful campaign simply requires strategically sharing the stage with a brand that represents the very essence of Black History Month. Food52, with 3.4M followers and counting, partnered with Eat the Culture for a “virtual potluck” that hosted some of the most followed creators within the Black culinary community. The event’s focal point was Food52 heritage recipe list, which has skyrocketed in engagement since Black social media food stars and micro-influencers linked to it after the potluck and shared recipes.
Uoma Beauty: Brands as influencers
How do you amplify an already-powerful campaign? By aligning yourself with influential cult brands that are open to collaboration. For the second year in a row, Black-owned Uoma Beauty, in partnership with Pull Up For Change, is doing just that. Sharon Chuster, the founder of both ventures, has partnered with mega-beauty brands like M.A.C and Drew Barrymore’s fan-favorite brand Flower Beauty to create limited-edition products in slick, black packaging—emblematic of Black beauty. The campaign’s goal is twofold: to reframe the conversation around the very notion of Blackness, and to invest into the community by channeling proceeds back to the Pull Up For Change fund.
Even with Black History Month now over, there’s an ongoing need for brands to elevate Black creators. By partnering with them on campaigns, brands can reach new audiences and celebrate cultures that are underrepresented in today’s media landscape. There’s no better moment to do that than now.