Creative Creative Works OOH

Ad of the Day: Racial stereotypes and bias laid bare in shocking OOH campaign


By Amy Houston, Senior Reporter

February 21, 2024 | 5 min read

M&C Saatchi has joined forces with London-based youth organization Rise 365 to launch ‘Changing Narratives.’

Outdoor ad depicting racial bias

Rise.365's outdoor ad campaign / M&C Saatchi London

Rise 365 is dedicated to supporting young people in reaching their goals and provides a voice for the youth of today.

For its latest project, the organization is highlighting the daily biases experienced by many Black men in the UK and beyond. With striking out-of-home placements, the campaign seeks to challenge these damaging preconceived narratives.

Ad agency M&C Saatchi collaborated closely with the young men of Rise 365 to create the campaign, from insights and strategy through to idea development.

Shaun Okoh, a senior strategist at the London shop, conducted in-depth interviews with Femi, Daniel, Ryan, Lucas, Razaq, Solomon and Sam about their experiences with bias.

Of the campaign, he said: “Bias can be challenging to tackle. It’s human nature to sometimes create narratives in our minds about people we don’t know. However, for young Black boys, the narrative created is often a negative one. This campaign needed to get people questioning the stories they make up and what better way to do that than with book covers.

“I think the work does a fantastic job of drawing attention to such an important issue, however, what I personally love most, is the boys’ fun facial expressions juxtaposing the negative stories people made up about them – showing that, despite racial bias knocking them down, young Black guys always get up again.”

The campaign draws on a wealth of negative experiences, with the stories told by the young men including being randomly stopped and searched by the police for the first time as a scared 12-year-old, being aggressively arrested at 16 for a crime someone else committed and being told that mixed heritage made them more tolerable.

The campaign depicts negative narratives as a series of book covers. Each cover features a Rise 365 volunteer paired with a title based upon real judgment they have experienced.

These shocking titles were taken directly from conversations between the young men and M&C Saatchi.

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“As an organization that’s dedicated to changing the narrative, it’s been part of our mandate to continually challenge social bias. All too often, people categorize our young people through their inaccurate social assumptions, judgments and unfair treatment and we’ve been doing the groundwork through campaigns such as this to uproot the negative impact,” said Joyclen Buffong, founder and director at Rise 365.

“We hope that this campaign will have a huge impact, making people think twice about the way they treat particular groups of people and helping us all to live in a fairer society.”

Media partner Clear Channel will run the campaign on its 3,500+ digital out-of-home screens across the UK.

Outdoor ad depicting racial bias
Outdoor ad depicting racial bias
Creative Creative Works OOH

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