RBG’s Impact on Marketing; Black Is the Future: Wednesday’s First Things First

Plus, SXSW announces its online festival

What could advertising look like when Black talent matters as much as our lives and culture do? Illustration by Jordan Moss for Adweek
Headshot of Jess Zafarris

Welcome to First Things First, Adweek’s daily resource for marketers. We’ll be publishing the content to First Things First on Adweek.com each morning (like this post), but if you prefer that it come straight to your inbox, you can sign up for the email here.

How Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inspired Marketing’s Changemakers

Many people were hit hard by the recent passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose lengthy career included landmark decisions impacting women’s rights. Rebecca Batterman, who is not only a marketer but also a law student seeking an advanced law degree in intellectual property, penned a voice piece examining the ways that Ginsburg’s lifetime in law inspired today’s marketing leaders. For example, when she began her career, women were limited to secretarial roles in the marketing industry, and her work empowered women and men to balance the numbers of women in leadership.

Lessons from the master: RBG has shown us how one person can make a difference and an enduring societal impact. 

Related: Dating app Bumble took out full page ads in three major newspapers this week to honor RBG.

Black Is the Answer. Black Is the Future.

“What could advertising look like when Black talent matters as much as our lives and culture do?” In an exclusive, multifaceted digital collection guest edited by 600 & Rising co-founder Bennett D. Bennett, Black contributors explore the perspectives of advertising visionaries and thought leaders as they share their ideas and chart the path forward for diversity, inclusion and equitable representation for Black voices in the industry. You can find the full collection and read Bennett’s introduction here, or check out individual perspectives below.

  • Sourcing and recruiting: Troy Harris explains how early opportunities and programs that dedicated to intentional, diverse and inclusive recruiting can help guide success for young professionals.
  • ERGs and company culture: Janel Martinez looks at the ways Twitter and Netflix are uncovering fresh insights and fueling their bottom line through community-centered initiatives and employee resource groups, and how other companies can replicate these efforts.
  • Visibility in advertising: “Creating ads that reflect a genuine awareness of the target audience is the difference between representation versus merely engaging in tokenism.” Shannon Miller looks at the stats around representation and the brands that understand that nuance—and the ones that don’t.
  • Disruption: Three Black women entrepreneurs—Somewhere Good and Ethel’s Club founder Naj Austin, Minorities in Sports Business Network founder Shaina Wiel, and Trillfit founder Heather White—discuss what advertising and media would look like if Black talent were as supported as their culture is embraced.

SXSW Announces Online Portion of 2021 Festival With Plans for Physical Events TBD

After cancelling its 2020 festival for the first time in 34 years, SXSW is planning its return, and yesterday it announced the online lineup for 2021. The in-person portion of the annual event—which draws nearly 400,000 visitors and more than $350 million to Austin each year and represents a huge opportunity for brands and marketers—has yet to be announced, but SXSW is working on plans.

Be there: Find out when entries for the digital conferences and film festival will open.

Paramount Network Plans Yet Another Rebrand and Name Change

Shortly after ViacomCBS moved to rebrand CBS All Access to Paramount+, it’s now overhauling the cable channel Paramount Network and transforming it to Paramount Movie Network. The programming will also change, moving into more made-for-TV movies and miniseries while retaining its hit scripted shows like Yellowstone.

A complex history: The Network started out as The Nashville Network in 1983.

@JessZafarris jessica.zafarris@adweek.com Jess Zafarris is an audience engagement editor at Adweek.