After yet another disappointing year for diversity among Super Bowl directors—82% of this year’s Big Game spots were directed by white men—it’s become clear advertisers need further help in embracing different voices.
To shine a light on gifted directors who aren’t getting the chances they deserve, Ad Age worked with Sophie Gold, founder and president of Eleanor, with input from other production company leaders, to compile the list below. We focused on Black directors specifically, since only one Black director made a Super Bowl ad this year (Rodney Lucas via Even/Odd for the NFL and 72andSunny).
Related: Super Bowl ads get a failing grade for director diversity
While the Super Bowl may be just a snapshot of the industry at a given moment, it’s an important one, said Gold.
“It’s a snapshot that should concern the industry because by limiting ourselves to a narrow demographic, we are limiting the storytelling, creativity and effectiveness of our work,” she said. “Anyone interested in improving storytelling, creativity and effectiveness—the very things that have declined, according to many voices within the industry—can play their part in a cultural turnover when Super Bowl LVIII rolls around next year.”
This is hardly a definitive list, but it’s a start for clients and agencies who may not know where to look for diverse directors who are already creating great work—and can do so on the Big Game, too.
“There are others,” said Gold. “Investigate their talent, and then invest in them. Make these directors part of your conversations. They’re not up-and-coming, risky or another subversive word. They are talented directors, award winners who have already poured so much into advertising, entertainment and film.”
Also see: A celebration of Black creative excellence