According to the Association of National Advertisers (ANA), only 7.4% of entry-level marketers are Black, and Havas wants to change that. In a new documentary called 'Just Like Me,' created and directed by Havas Chicago senior art director TTK Harris, the agency aims to spotlight the contributions Black creatives make to culture, expose the challenges many face simply because of the colour of their skin and reinforce the importance of representation in advertising and design.
‘Just Like Me’ shares stories of triumph and inspiration from eight visionary black creatives who, against all odds, made it to the top of their game and are now throwing a line back to the next generation.
"Sometimes it feels like you're the only one discovering and carving out your path, without men and women who look like you, act like you, and are experiencing life like you," noted TTK, who is also a respected painter and graphic designer. "Hearing the success stories of Black creatives in the industry is rare. So, now's the time. "Just Like Me” gives a voice to Black creatives who changed the game from behind the curtain. It stands as a guide for the creatives of tomorrow."
‘Just Like Me’ is just one of the steps the agency is taking to build a more diverse, inclusive, and just Havas. In 2020, Havas announced Commit to Change, a seven-point plan - recognised as being one of the most accountable in the industry - outlining initiatives specific to the agency's BIPOC employees and how the business operates.
"Building DE&I into your company isn't about reaching a specified destination - it's an ever-evolving journey - and though we have a way to go, I'm proud of the progress we're making," said Myra Nussbaum, president, and chief creative officer of Havas Chicago. "While striving towards equity, it's important that we acknowledge and respect the contributions Black creators make to culture. I'm proud that we can shine a light on just a few of those contributions and open the door for other Black creators to consider channelling their creativity and influence into advertising."
Special thanks to creative director and The Fruit Mkt. founder Justice Hall, visual artist Cey Adams, vice president of brand at Scotch Porter Aleesha Worthington, painter, cordwainer and senior visual designer Dana Givens, Slang Inc. founder and creative director Julian Alexander, The Davis Group principal, author, and New York City College of Technology professor Douglas Davis, and Wieden + Kennedy executive creative director John ‘JP’ Petty III, all featured alongside Harris, for lending their time to the film.
For more information and to watch ‘Just Like Me,’ visit here.