This article was originally published in AdAge.
Burt’s Bees is the first brand to launch a campaign through Omnicom Media Group’s Diverse Creators Network, which launched this summer to help marketers connect with more BIPOC creators.
The effort kicks off today with a five-week campaign on Twitter featuring a Black skincare influencer promoting Burt’s Bees lip balm. The Clorox Co. brand has plans for an additional campaign later this year.
Following the May 2020 killing of George Floyd and subsequent movement around racial injustice, brands and agencies across sectors have increased their commitments to engage with more BIPOC creators who witness inequalities in pay and opportunity. Earlier this summer, Omnicom launched the Diverse Creators Network (DCN) to connect brands with millions of diverse content creators and diverse media in partnership with Twitter and two other platforms yet to be announced.
DCN has attracted interest from other brands such as McDonald’s, Georgia Pacific, State Farm and The CW, Scott Hagedorn, CEO, Omnicom Media Group North America, told Ad Age earlier this summer.
The star of the program’s first campaign is Tiara Willis, a licensed esthetician with more than 275,000 followers on Twitter, where she shares beauty and skincare advice for women of color. Pre-roll videos on Twitter will appear ahead of her content as part of a Twitter Amplify sponsorship campaign. The pre-roll videos will direct viewers to Burt’s Bees’ site where lip balms in flavors like coconut and pear, honey and cucumber mint can be purchased.
In the next iteration of the campaign, Burt’s Bees will work directly with other DCN creators to craft original content around specific creative briefs.
While Burt’s Bees has used influencers for the past decade and has sought diverse perspectives, the brand still realized it could do even better, according to Ericka Santos, associate director of paid media at Burt’s Bees.
“Part of fostering diversity and inclusion is recognizing how you can continue to do better, as well as address gaps inherent in the system, such as diverse creators not always receiving equity in pay or credit for their content,” says Santos. According to Santos, the campaign represents a “sizable portion” of the brand’s campaign budget this quarter, and that it plans to invest more in the second phase depending on how it performs.
Barry Wade, managing director of cultural partnerships at Omnicom, says DCN surfaces diverse media partners and creators that otherwise could be overlooked when using other planning filters. The DCN, he says, leverages data to give agencies better insight into the “true influence” of a diverse creator’s reach and impact. It also offers scale, with the ability to elevate several creators at once to further drive efficiency, says Santos. The DCN is being offered through Omnicom agencies Hearts & Science, OMD and PHD.
“Ultimately, we know how important these voices are, and that influencers are a key to our strategy of connecting in a credible, relatable way with our consumer base, which is also evolving as more diverse consumers choose Burt’s Bees,” says Mitch O’Furey, director of marketing at Burt’s Bees.