Ad Age is marking Black History Month 2023 with our third-annual Honoring Creative Excellence package. (Read the introduction here.) Today, Outfront Media East Coast Regional Creative Director Tim Wasicki shares a key moment in his career: the creation of the Black Heart campaign. Ad Age is partnering with Outfront to showcase some of the industry’s most creative talent on their digital out-of-home media across the U.S. throughout the month. (Visit our package hub each weekday for a new essay from another notable Black creative.)
It was the summer of 2020. I found myself in a very unique position. The country was in disarray from the unfortunate events surrounding the Floyd family. People were tense. I was tense. I felt creatively tense.
I knew that I had an opportunity to say something that wasn’t being said. I knew that with help, I could make something special, unique and meaningful in a way others either hadn’t or couldn’t necessarily communicate.
As Outfront’s Regional Creative Director, I oversee creative for the company’s East region and am part of our in-house creative and design team, Outfront Studios. Inspired by the events of 2020, I brought together 15 colleagues from across the country from different cultural backgrounds. Through thoughtful discussion and ideation, we developed the Black Heart campaign. Our goal was to develop a billboard campaign that was direct and highly visual that spoke to the community. The campaign centered on a silhouette of a black heart that represented both a sense of melancholy and served as a connection to the core of human function: the heart.