Leo, Allstate celebrate BHM with stories “worth telling”


Arielle Johnson in Allstate's #worthtelling by Leo Burnett

Using the hashtag #WorthTelling, Leo Burnett Chicago continues Allstate’s Black History Month celebration for a second year with a series of documentary-style short films focusing on African American businesses and entrepreneurs.

First launched in 2016, the campaign spotlights three more inspiring stories spotlighting African American individuals making a difference by creating career opportunities for the underserved through barbering, raising awareness about diversity and representation through comics, and providing tools that support the advancement of African Americans through entrepreneurial opportunities.

In a statement printed by the Insurance Journal, Georgina Flores, VP of Product Marketing at Allstate says, “We are celebrating Black History Month by sharing inspirational stories of African American pioneers who are impacting communities across the country today.”

With a running time of almost four minutes, the first short features 97-year-old Isaac White, founder of White’s Barber College in Mobile, Alabama. The college, which opened in 1960, offers tuition-free barbering courses to students giving them a lifeline. Interviewed in his barbershop the still very active hometown legend discusses what it takes to remain a “cut above” one’s circumstances.

The second video features Comics and Coffeehouse self-described, “Blerd” (Black and Nerd), Ariell Johnson in Philadelphia. With a similar running time, we learn that the blue-haired fangirl, opened her business to promote diversity and inclusion within the comic book industry. She explains the importance of African Americans seeing heroes and characters who resemble themselves. After opening the cafe in December 2015, and becoming a vocal advocate for diversity in the comic book industry, Johnson’s likeness appeared on the illustrated cover of MARVEL’s Invincible Iron Man #1.

Set in New Orleans, the third film features CEO of Camelback Ventures, Aaron Walker. Here, we learn Walker founded Camelback Ventures in order to address the inequities of education and social innovation among people of color and women. By working with social impact innovators and a six-month fellowship, the company is able to provide coaching, capital and connections to early-stage entrepreneurs.

The campaign, which launched January 20, will run on Allstate’s YouTube, Facebook and Instagram accounts as well as online and national radio. In addition, Allstate said it will host events in Mobile, Philadelphia and New Orleans that highlight the individuals in the “Worth Telling” campaign.

Credits for the campaign include:

Executive Creative Director: Charley Wickman, Creative Directors: John Kistner, Scott Smith, Associate Creative Directors: Jewell Donaldson, Mona Song, Group Executive Producer: David Moore, Producer: Amy Tyszkiewicz, Juan Woodbury Account: Bianca Bradford, Jourdan Norman, Sarah McCullough

Production Company: Foreign Films, Director: Sandrine Orabona

Editorial: Utopic

Finishing: Utopic

Audio Mix: Utopic

Music House: Jira Productions.

The short films can be watched here.

LA-Based Colin Costello writes for film, TV, advertising and of course, Reel Chicago. He can be reached at colin@colincostello.com.

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