Check out photos from the BlankCanvs event this past Saturday “Verluxe Dollhouse In Chicago”
THE INSPIRATION: No2Six6
In 2013, the hiring rate of minorities in advertising was on track to be equally representative of the general population by 2079. That’s 66 years too long to wait for equality.
· 13.6% of Americans are Black
· 9% is the expected Black representation in advertising
· 5.3% is the actual percentage of Black people in the industry
Leo Burnett launched No2Six6 – a social movement to challenge the industry and spark a conversation about how to champion diversity hiring. In response to the challenge, Leo Burnett’s answer is the BlankCanvs program.
Rather than disrupt the culture with the corporate ethos of traditional recruiting, the objective of BlankCanvs is to organically take part in the culture. By creating a series of events that empower local influencers, we will encounter a dynamic talent pool of artists that may have never considered advertising as a career. BlankCanvs transforms the traditional pop up event into an artistic recruiting device by allowing artists to create freely without restriction.
The first event featured Verluxe, an artistic girl gang comprised of three women in their early 20’s that operate as a production company and lifestyle brand. Sofia Kerpan, Danielle Alston and Eva Dubovoy are cultural influencers that have created music videos for talents including Chance the Rapper, Vic Mensa, YP, King Louie, Twista, Katie Got Bandz. See thier website for more details.(www.verluxe.com)
Curated by the ladies of Verluxe, The Verluxe Dollhouse was constructed by fabricator Sam Kirk and featured Towkio Sean of Save Money Crew. The experience was further brought to life through Leo Burnett’s partnership with The Chicago Group Collective and sponsorship by Diageo.
What is BlankCanvs?
A series of events that transform the traditional pop up event into an artistic recruiting device. It champions collaboration and participation by seeking out cultural influences that have a strong following for their artistic skillsets. We then allow them to develop an event that would cater to their following while also catering to the needs of LB’s recruitment goals. Attendees can participate by submitting artwork to be featured in the event in some way.
What is the goal BlankCanvs is trying to achieve?
BlankCanvs is designed to creatively recruit more diverse talent into advertising that would otherwise not think twice about our industry.
Is BlankCanvs specific to Black people or all minorities?
Although No2Six6 and BlankCanvs stem from an issue and research specific to Black people, we know that people of color are underrepresented in the advertising industry as a whole. We encourage agencies to spark initiatives that attract more diverse creativity, whether that encompasses Blacks, Hispanics, Asians or other minority groups.
Why does this problem exist?
We have operated under the same methods of evaluating talent for half a century. After forty years of failed efforts to diversify the ranks, we have to admit that the issue is larger than a shortage of talent available. This issue is bigger than diversity. It is an issue of creativity. We challenge industry norms of nepotism, inadequate entry-level salaries and reliance on traditional recruiting sources such as portfolio schools for creative talent. We have to ask ourselves if ‘the machine’ itself needs to change. And we think it does. So we are executing BlankCanvs in a way to see if a new, more creatively led form of recruitment would appeal to diverse candidates.
How can people join this effort?
Currently, BlankCanvs is meant for recruiting purposes only and not meant for mass participation. If there are creative influencers or companies that would like to work with Leo Burnett directly on an upcoming event, they can reach out to No2Six6@leoburnett.com.