A few weeks ago as I made my rounds on the blog circuit. I was leaving comments on the general market advertising blogs under the name kiss my black ads, which usually puts a big 'ol Public Enemy cross-hairs target on anything I might say. Well, on this particular day I'm checking out Alex Bogusky's blog and I watch this really interesting conversation on public bikes. Wha..??? Bear with me. What was cool about it was the serious approach to the problem and the manifold solutions and intricate answers , innovation and invention applied to the mundane, everyday common inanimate bike and how people in the relatively wealthy city of Denver (or the like) could use them for free everyday.
I thought the solutions were great. I thought the attention to detail for giving away something that I would guess most of the riding public in the cities they discussed already have, was nothing short of scientific.
So the KMBA guy in me said, "It would be cool to see these guys talk about diversity." I left a comment: Hey you guys should do a show on diversity." Alex responded, (something like) "Good idea KissMyBlackAds, we will, but we want it to better than the same old usual crap." I thought to myself, "cool, these guys are gonna rip this shit up!" I mentally exclaimed, "they are gonna make other agencies' pick a child from the ghetto programs look like Capt'n Save-a-ghetto without his pimp juice!"
Well they did a show with some pretty sharp guys, the always progressive and smart Lincoln Steffens and Alex's former mentor Shelton Scott. Both of these guy brought their A-game and spoke honestly and openly from their points of view. The mildly and calmly explained the state of affairs and the experiences they've had in the industry. Also mentioning the influence the negative experience has been on the paths they have chosen. These dudes were given a few lemons but they are making lemon flavored Kool-Aid everyday.
I heard a lot from these guys but I didn't hear much about the plan Bogusky and the CPB family had in the works for their intricately developed free city bike diversity plan. Now Alex, I'm not complaining but I am interested to see what you guys come up with. Even if you guys just take the city bike plan and flipped it in a metaphorical since, you have a great basis for an innovative diversity push. I know it sounds crazy but it makes great sense in my head.
I think Lincoln is playing a great, much needed role, he's doing very important work and doing it well I might add. I think you guys can and should help him. Please help fund his efforts. Or better still allow him to help you. But, I don't think you guys should copy him. High School programs have been in the works for 40 years now.
CPB is is bigger than that and the tactics of old just won't work for you. The innovation may be in a new lateral outreach programs. Get the professionals where they are. There is a ton of great talent ripe for the picking. There also needs to be some sort of translation process developed. Because a person with a kick-ass or highly effective multi-culti reel or portfolio will not be readily understood or appreciated at a general market shop. Yes good ideas are good ideas, but nuance and cultural norms and cues don't always translate.
So thanks Alex for keeping your word and delivering a fine show. I'm glad to help deliver your highest rated show ever. An open dialogue is always a great start. But it can never end there. Real action is an absolute must. Everybody's gonna say, man you went soft on Bogusky, but I still have faith in great ideas.
I want to see some diversity effort as clever, hip and effective as "subservient chicken,"" Gieco Cavemen" or the "Whopper Freak-out" that would be massive. But don't do "subservient negro" or "Black hire freak-out," not a good look.
Here's a link to the FearLess Q+A show I warmly rant of. https://sites.google.com/site/mayuradocs/PinIt.png