Over the past few weeks, nationwide protests have occurred over the death of George Floyd and have brought attention to racial injustice and police brutality across the United States. Thousands of people have shown up at these events to show support.
How Companies Are Showing Support
While all eyes were on the protests, brand managers were working behind the scenes to create sensitive and aesthetically pleasing responses to the demonstrations quickly. Several companies have decided to make Juneteenth, the day that honors the end of slavery in the US. Companies rebrand all the time. As the problems of racial injustice gain more traction, companies like PepsiCo, Nike, and NASCAR are rebranding to show support.
Which Companies Are Rebranding?
PepsiCo bought Quaker Oats Co in 2001 and acquired the brand name Aunt Jemima. Recently, the company announced that it would rebrand Aunt Jemima due to its origins. Aunt Jemima’s origin is based on the typical stereotype of a mammy. A mammy is a U.S. stereotype for a black woman who worked in a white family and nursed the family’s children. While details on the new name have yet been disclosed, the Aunt Jemima image will be taken off and appear in stores in the last three months of 2020.
Another company that is rebranding is Nike. Nike, a company that is known to be more practiced than most at associating itself with social movements, was among the first brands to pivot its messaging. Nike recently posted a video in black and white that portrayed the text “For once, don’t do it,” invoking the brand’s famous “Just do it” slogan. It implores watchers not to pretend that racism isn’t a problem in the United States.
Sports companies have begun to rebrand as well. NASCAR has banned the display of Confederate flags at its events. This announcement came after Bubba Wallace called for the removal of the Confederate flags at races. NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell came out on June 15th to apologize for how the league was wrong in how it previously handled players’ protests against racism and police brutality. He even mentions that he encourages NFL teams to sign Kaepernick, and that Kaepernick is welcome to be an advisor to help the organization deal with racism.
Other Companies That Are Rebranding
- Paypal, Apple, and Youtube are committing a total of $700 million to black and minority communities.
- NBC is diversifying its shows by funding additional writers for each of its 2020-2020 scripted series.
- Co-founders of Saturday Morning have issued a call to action for the advertising industry over racism.
- Country group Lady Antebellum changes its name to Lady A
- Netflix is highlighting films and TV shows that tell the stories of black Americans and documents the history of racial injustice in the U.S.Rebranding is nothing new to companies. As protests have occurred throughout the U.S over the death of George Floyd, several companies have begun to rebrand. Whether it’s removing brand images with racial stereotype origins, reformatting its slogan, or various other changes, companies are rebranding to show their support of the Black Lives Matter movement.