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Seamlessly integrating consumers into a campaign while allowing them to share their uniqueness to a larger community is where advertising and marketing is heading. Consumer diversity and inclusive representation in the process is critical. “Fairly soon America will become a majority minority nation,” says Drakeford. “With America becoming more Black and Brown, it’s incredibly important for the advertising and marketing industry to reflect the population. Brands, agencies and properties alike need to be able to authentically speak to these populations, that’s why the work the Marcus Graham Project and other organizations are doing is so important when it comes to diversifying our industry.”
As the face of America changes so do the methods in which businesses go to market. “I think the future is here,” Drakeford tells BE Modern Man. I see brands and agencies spending more dollars, time and energy on social media, aligning within social influencers and talking directly to consumers. I think the second area of growth is virtual reality. You are seeing more properties and brands using virtual reality to tell stories and amplify products.” REVOLT has been able to stay ahead of the curve on both fronts through constantly leading with digital and social in our campaigns, helping brands engage directly with their consumers in a clear and measurable way. “With virtual reality, we were able to team up with the amazing team at Jaunt VR to shoot the “REVOLT Hollywood & Highland Concert featuring Big Sean” in virtual reality which was absolutely incredible.”
A sense of community and connected-ness is what brings consumers closer to brands, and for Drakeford, community engagement extends beyond the REVOLT offices. “I think we all have an obligation to reach back and pay it forward to the next generation, which is why I am so proud of the work I have been able to do with LOCKEDIN,” Drakeford tells BE Modern Man. LOCKEDIN is an organization founded by Drakeford and seven other young Black professionals, with a mission to provide young minorities with a support system based on the principles of service, accountability and self-empowerment. “We created this organization to inspire them on their quest to reach their personal and career goals. The work we’ve been able to do to date has been great and I’m so excited to see where this journey goes. As we all continue to move up in our careers, we have a responsibility to speak out and act against injustice, inequality, discrimination, lack of diversity in the workplace, poverty, poor education, etc. Too whom much is given, much is required.”
As we step into the future of advertising and marketing organizations have to break free from conventionality or they will be left behind. “Progression with purpose is who the BE Modern Man is. Whether it is in advertising and marketing or another field he never sees failure as an option, is comfortable with being uncomfortable and strives to make success the norm.”
The BlackEnterprise.com salutes Rashad Drakeford for stepping into greatness and never settling for mediocracy. We are honored to call him a BE Modern Man and commend him for taking on the challenge of revolutionizing the way we interact and engage with brands, artist, and music.
It’s our normal to be extraordinary. Follow @blackenterprise and join the BE Modern Man conversation using #BEModernMan.
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