POCAM Cause to Pause

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  • Cause to Pause is a B2B social media awareness campaign for People of Colour in Advertising and Marketing (POCAM). POCAM represents the voices of BIPOC professionals in Canadian advertising and marketing and empowers them to survive and succeed in a majority-white industry. Here’s one 2019 stat to illustrate the imbalance: though Toronto’s population is only 48% white, the ad industry is an astonishing 79% white.

    May 25th, 2021, was the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder in Minneapolis by a white police officer. POCAM anticipated that agencies and brands would jump on the performative statement bandwagon as they had done the year before. Early in the morning of the 25th, before the industry could begin to flood social media with tactless, opportunistic messaging, POCAM deployed a simple message that asked the industry — brands and agencies — to be respectful of the day, thoughtful towards Black colleagues and to take real action to bring change. The main asset? A simple typographic video/gif supported by additional copy in the accompanying post.

    The LinkedIn and Instagram posts said: For our POCAM community, this is a sombre, difficult day. A year ago, the violent murder of George Floyd shook us to our core. Today, we ask our industry — brands and agencies — to pause and reflect rather than rushing to fill the news cycle with virtue-signalling performative statements. Instead, ask what you have done for justice in the last year. Ask if it is enough. How did you support your Black employees and colleagues over the last year? What are you doing to support them on this tragic anniversary when this wound is rawest? What are you doing to remove the pervasive systemic racism in our industry that BIPOC professionals suffer? Pause. Remember. Rise. Rise for equity. And do the work. Always do the work.  

    It was accompanied by a slightly shorter message on Twitter.

    Like this campaign? Check out the branding we created for POCAM.

  • Summits Creative Awards 2022, Best of Show
    Marketing Awards 2022 SILVER Best Use of Social Media

  • The campaign immediately received attention from the advertising trade press. The Stimulant Online headline read "POCAM asks the industry to pause its social media performances".