Citi Kicks Off “New Black Wall Streets” Ad to Bolster Black Businesses

Citi Kicks Off “New Black Wall Streets” Ad to Bolster Black Businesses

Driven to spotlight the ingenuity and continued resistance of Black entrepreneurs, Citi has launched a new large-scale ad campaign to do just that.

Known as “New Black Wall Streets,” the ad by one of the nation’s largest banks features Brian Tyree Henry, star of the FX series Atlanta. Produced by a mostly Black creative team, the ad shows how Citi is committed to doing its part to support and help build Black businesses.

Tina Davis, Citi’s interim chief marketing officer, shared these insights about the ad with BLACK ENTERPRISE. Davis said the campaign highlights Citi’s Action for Racial Equity initiative. Exerting over $1 billion, Citi and the Citi Foundation announced the pledge to help close the racial wealth gap and boost economic mobility in the U.S.

“We’re addressing the biggest barriers that impede people of color from building generational wealth—from affording college, to buying a home, to starting a business, to saving for retirement,” Davis wrote.

Citi is the brand name for the global bank Citigroup.

Davis shared Citi focuses on tackling issues and pursuing causes that tie back to the brand and mission to create economic growth and progress for its clients, customers, and the communities it serves.

“Everything we do—including in our marketing efforts and campaigns—is about that.”

She pointed out, “We also firmly believe in the importance of highlighting racial equity in our marketing efforts so that our colleagues, clients, and communities feel seen and represented.”

So, what is meant precisely when the ad declares “New Black Wall Streets”?

“By embedding racial equity into every part of our business, Citi is working to ensure Black businesses, banks, and entrepreneurs across the country have access to the resources needed to grow, succeed, and become pillars of their own ‘New Black Wall Streets’ in communities across the U.S.,” Davis wrote.

To develop the campaign, Citi worked with creative directors, including Robert Clifton, Jason LaFlore, and director Matt Dillon.

Davis says the campaign is airing on digital channels, including Amazon Fire TV, YouTube, and Hulu. Plans to roll out the ad on more channels will come in the near weeks and months.

Erika Irish Brown, Citi’s chief diversity, equity, and inclusion officer and global head of talent, helped craft the ad.

Brown provided some insight into what the bank hopes to achieve on the DEI front.

“Racial equity is influencing how we do business, and we continue to find ways we can embed it in our policies and practices across the firm. We’re holding ourselves accountable for our progress, and as part of our Action for Racial Equity initiative, we agreed to conduct a third-party racial equity audit.”

She added, “The work is never done, but I’m proud of the progress we’ve made to date and all that is to come as we hopefully see ‘New Black Wall Streets’ continue to rise across the U.S.”