PepsiCo’s Lifewtr pushes for diversity in the arts with Issa Rae team-up

Dive Brief:

  • Lifewtr has partnered with writer-producer-actress Issa Rae to launch Life Unseen, a platform focused on fair representation in the arts. The effort seeks to raise awareness of systemic disparities throughout the arts, celebrate diverse creatives and help cultivate new opportunities, per a press release.
  • The platform launches with four elements, including a campaign video; a study developed by the Institute for Quantitative Study of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (QSIDE); a 20-person artist collective from across fashion, film, music and visual arts; and a social media contest that offers a chance to win mentorship from Rae and $10,000 in funding.
  • Life Unseen deepens Lifewtr’s previous efforts to support the work of diverse creatives and comes as a variety of CPG brands launch similar platforms to lift underrepresented voices across art and advertising.

Dive Insight:

Lifewtr’s Life Unseen platform elevates the PepsiCo-owned brand’s purpose-driven efforts around fair representation in the arts in a variety of ways, joining awareness-raising efforts with elements that support meaningful change.

“At LIFEWTR, we believe nothing should limit a creator from sharing their perspective with the world. Yet, we remain acutely aware that pervasive bias across creative industries has left entire communities and their work unseen by the masses,” said Zach Harris, vice president of marketing for the water portfolio at PepsiCo Beverages North America.

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At the heart of the platform is its study developed by QSIDE that is available as an interactive tool on the Lifewtr website. The study found representation across gender identity, race and ethnicity, sexual orientation and people with mobility, vision and hearing impairments affect all sectors of the creative industry. The research echoes findings of representation and bias in an ad industry that increasingly relies on creators specializing in fashion, film, music and visual arts to drive campaigns that engage with younger consumers.

Along with its partnership with Rae, the creator and star of HBO’s “Insecure,” Lifewtr has tapped 20 creators across disciplines that will have their art featured on Lifewtr bottles, which could raise the profile of both the artists and the larger campaign. Previously, in the wake of the renewed Black Lives Matter movement, the brand asked artists to share their creative works for a chance to win a cash grant and be featured in the Black Art Rising online gallery.

To further extend the campaign, Lifewtr is running a social media contest. Consumers that share a post on Instagram about a project they would like to create with the #LifeUnseenContest hashtag (from now until July 30) will have a chance to win $10,000 in funding and a mentorship session with Rae, along with having their art displayed by the brand’s online gallery. Entrants will be judged on their power of story, creativity and originality, with five winners announced this summer. Consumers can also encourage artists to enter by tagging them, further broadening the campaign’s reach on social media.

Lifewtr’s Life Unseen platform follows similar efforts by other CPG brands that are working to address diversity and inclusion throughout the media ecosystem. P&G is working to increase inclusion of Black creators across advertising, film and television industries with its “Widen the Screen” initiative, while Häagen-Dazs tapped producer Lena Waithe for a a multichannel campaign in support of a diverse group of creators. This week, Hornitos Tequila teamed with the Black List to help five emerging filmmakers as part of a program that seeks to enable diverse creatives.

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