Creative World Creative Rankings News

World Creative Rankings: 5 award-winning campaigns that amplified Black voices


By Amy Houston | Senior Reporter

March 17, 2023 | 7 min read

From Performance Art’s ‘The Black Elevation Map’ to DDB Canada’s ‘Blacked Out History’, we take another look at campaigns from 2023’s World Creative Rankings that championed Black voices, businesses and creatives.


Black Elevation Map

The Drum’s World Creative Rankings is a one-of-a-kind list celebrating the most-awarded campaigns, brands, agencies and individuals that have pushed creative boundaries in the last 12 months.

Here, we take a look at five campaigns that feature in the listings this year that championed Black voices, businesses and creatives.

Google ‘Black-Owned Friday’ by BBH New York USA

On Black Friday, Google partnered with the US Black Chambers to reimagine the busiest shopping day of the year as ‘Black-Owned Friday’ with an interactive campaign that featured Grammy-winning rapper T-Pain and singer Normani.

In the short film, viewers see a woman in her apartment watching a daytime shopping channel and, upon realizing it’s Black Friday, she begins to Google Black-owned businesses. After meeting T-Pain in an elevator, she’s transported to an eclectic high street bustling with colorful storefronts and businesses selling an array of items, from artwork to books to haircare products, which are all linked directly to the vendor’s website.

The tech giant worked with the rapper on an exclusive soundtrack for the ad, which featured vocals from Normani. The spot was brought to life by British filmmaker Daps – known for his work with musicians including Stormzy and Kendrick Lamar.

Black & Abroad ‘The Black Elevation Map’ by Performance Art

This striking campaign took cultural data, including Black population data, historical markers, Black-owned businesses and social media activity, and visualized it as points of interest on a dynamic map of the United States.

The project was built around the idea that maps have historically been used to “marginalize, divide and oppress communities around the world.”

In addition to thousands of places of interest, the map also included city guides highlighting Black-owned wineries, Silicon Valley startups and various restaurants.

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Mercado Livre ‘Black Business Beats’ by Gut Sao Paulo

It’s estimated that nowadays 73% of hip-hop songs mention a luxury brand. From Gucci to Tom Ford, singers have been shouting out their favorite fashion labels on tracks for years and the power of this is undeniable, often resulting in increased sales.

One example claims that when Cardi B referenced Louboutin shoes in her debut hit single Bodak Yellow, the French brand attributed around $4m in earned media.

With these stats in mind, and knowing that the majority of these companies are owned by white people, the e-commerce platform Mercado Livre marked Black History Month by amplifying Black-owned businesses through music instead.

Revista Raca ‘Black Characters’ by FCB Sao Paulo

As part of its 25th-anniversary celebrations, Raca Magazine – the largest publication on Afro culture in Brazil – launched a digital tool to help amplify Black voices on social media.

Typical Twitter posts have 280 characters, but often people will only use roughly 33 of them. To make full use of the platform, FCB Brazil devised a program that will fill the blank space with a Black cultural reference.

For example, if someone Tweets about their favorite book, the plugin will automatically pull information on a Black author, such as Nobel-prize winner Toni Morrison.

The campaign grew from the statistic that more than half of the Brazilian population is black, but politicians, journalists and decision-makers are often white.

Ontario Black History Society ‘Blacked Out History’ by DDB Canada

The Ontario Black History Society is a Canadian organization dedicated to the study, preservation and promotion of Black History and heritage.

One of the ways that the non-profit promotes its message is by advocating for greater inclusion of Black History within school curriculums.

Enlisting creative agency DDB Canada, the organization created a startling campaign to prove that Black history is overlooked in classrooms.

By blacking out all of the non-Black History from a 255-page history textbook, it became starkly apparent that only 13 pages remained, proving the exclusion of certain parts of Canada’s past.

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