- Procter & Gamble launched "Widen The Screen," a content creation, talent development and partnership platform that will work for increased inclusion of Black creators across advertising, film and television industries, the company said in a press release.
- Along with an eponymous anthem film that premiered on March 27, "Widen The Screen" will include new films and initiatives that feature diverse storytellers and look to combat bias and misrepresentation. In addition, P&G will support efforts to increase the number of Black creators entering the ad industry through partnerships and investments with creative agencies, production companies, mentorship initiatives and more.
- With "Widen The Screen," P&G is amping up its previous efforts around diversity and inclusion in the advertising world and beyond. Queen Collective, its talent development initiative that supports Black women directors, will produce four documentary-style productions this year after producing two each in 2019 and 2021.
The "Widen The Screen" platform sees P&G, one of the world's largest advertisers, enacting a "significant expansion" of its efforts to address racial bias and misrepresentation in the ad world, per the company's announcement. The CPG giant was an early mover in the space, releasing its film "The Talk" in 2017 — long before the killing of George Floyd reignited the Black Lives Matter movement and led to global protests against racism last summer. "Widen The Screen" provides some specific details about how P&G will deliver on the pledges it has made around D&I, including in a four-point plan that Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard outlined at a virtual Cannes Lions event last year.
"In stepping up and leveling the playing field for Black creators, we will enable change that will benefit all under-represented groups and result in higher quality, more relevant film, television and advertising content that deepens our appreciation of the richness of our society," Pritchard said in this week's announcement around "Widen The Screen."
The effort kicked off with the "Widen The Screen" anthem film, which was created by a team of largely Black creators in collaboration with Grey and narrated by actor Mahershala Ali. The film, which debuted during the 2021 NAACP Image Awards, calls for creators to portray a "holistic view of Black life" instead of one based on common stereotypes. The message is in line with previous efforts by both P&G and competitor Unilever, the latter of which has worked to remove stereotypes from advertising with its Unstereotype initiative.
Beyond the film's call-to-action, P&G is making a range of investments and forming partnerships to try to enact real change in the advertising and entertainment worlds, especially in increasing diversity and inclusion. The efforts will take the form of partnerships with the Marcus Graham Project and the One Club for Creativity's One School Initiative, along with continued support of initiatives like Adcolor and increased investment in Black-owned and -operated companies — the latter of which was already part of Pritchard's four-point plan. P&G's focus on improving D&I comes as ethnic diversity in the ad industry has stalled, per a recent ANA survey.
Along with the doubling of productions made in tandem with Queen Collective, P&G will partner with Uninterrupted, a production house that is part of LeBron James and Maverick Carter's The SpringHill Company, on a film about a father and son exploring possibilities beyond athletics. P&G will also work with Black-led creative agency Saturday Morning, Tribeca and dozens of Black creatives to create scripted stories that are 8 minutes and 46 seconds long, in a nod to the time that police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on George Floyd. The time has become symbolic in the fight for racial equality, even as prosecutors revealed Monday that Chauvin actually knelt on Floyd for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.