Procter & Gamble continues its “Take on Race” initiative with an introspective call to action aimed at people who don’t usually speak up about systemic racism and police violence. “The Choice” is the first work from Cartwright, a new agency founded by Saturday Morning co-founder Keith Cartwright, and Grey.
The spot opens with white text on black skin, asking the rhetorical questions of institutionalized oppression. “How are we to respond when we are shown over and over and over that our lives to not matter?” It transitions to black text on white skin, pointing out the power that comes from privilege and urging those with power to use to support anti-racist efforts.
"Not being racist is not enough," it reads. "Now is the time to be anti-racist."
“Read, Listen, Donate, Plan, March, Vote, Speak Out, Step In, Step Up,” it continues, actions corresponding to resources on P&G’s dedicated “Take on Race” website.
“Read,” for example, includes links to The 1619 Project, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times initiative examining white supremacy and race relations in the U.S. since the arrival of the first enslaved Africans, and a link to buy Robin Diangelo’s “White Fragility.” (Many anti-racism books are currently sold out, so Washington, D.C., public libraries have made many of them free to download.) “Donate” includes links to give money to organizations like the NAACP Legal Defense & Education Fund, Courageous Conversations Global Foundation, Color of Change and the National Urban League.
Previous entries in P&G’s series have won awards and acclaim for addressing topics rarely approached so directly in advertising, including “The Talk” and “The Look.”