Through New Year's Day, we're counting down the year's best brand campaigns and ideas.
No. 11: Sometimes old media is the best way to get a point across. Twitter took the #BlackLivesmatter hashtag off the internet and onto the sides of buildings across the country, showcasing tweets about the movement in foot-high letters usually reserved for brands and business. Juneteenth tweets also got their own time to shine, with billboards featuring the #BlackJoy hashtag. It was a telling reminder that even though social media can reach far more people, there is a level of validation that print and out-of-home still provide. Subsequently, the brand went on to bring coronavirus safety Tweets to outdoor media, including a barge floating past Miami Beach.
Since Juneteenth, you may have encountered Black Lives Matter tweets way beyond your Twitter feed. The social media platform has been giving some of its BLM messages more prominence in major cities around the world by featuring them in billboards and massive outdoor displays.
Real Tweets from Black users around the world have been magnified on out-of-home signs in U.S. cities where major protests have occurred: Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Louisville, Minneapolis, New York, Oakland and Philadelphia.
They include messages from writer Ashley Simpo, Bernice King, CEO of The King Center and daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King, writer and marketer Frederick T. Joseph and many more.
The #BlackLivesMatter hashtag debuted on Twitter in 2013 and within three weeks went on to appear in two million Tweets. Seven years later, the platform has seen the biggest spike in its use. Since May 25, Twitter has tracked more than 350 million Tweets about the Black Lives Matter movement and its subtopics in the U.S. and at times, has seen 230 Tweets per second about the movement.
On the platform itself, Twitter has also ramped up the conversation. On Juneteenth, it featured a voice tweet from one of the founders of #BlackLivesMatter, Opal Tometi, about “Black joy,” a topic that has also seen a flurry of activity with nearly 1 million Tweets since May 25. “For many, Black joy—especially in the face of pain—is a form of resistance,” the company said in a statement.
Twitter also amplified Black joy in a video from its Black employee resource group Blackbirds. It has encouraged users to post more #BlackJoy messages and also tapped Black artists to create original works around the theme.