5 Brands and Their Reactions to #BlackLivesMatter

With tensions soaring high in the world amidst the ongoing pandemic, the homicide of George Floyd came as a tipping point to the patience of people tolerating the status quo. Thousands of people took to streets globally to protest against the established systematic racism, raising their voices for an urgent change in the system.

As the movement escalated, support starting pouring in from major brands and corporations committing solidarity to the Black community. Here we have a look at 5 brands that have had popular reactions to the #BLM movement.

1. Nike

The popular sports brand Nike’s logo ‘Just Do It’ is probably one of the most famous taglines of any brand. The brand, in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, has uploaded a video with a change in its logo, announcing “For once, Don’t Do it.” The video further urges people ‘to be a part of the change’ and ‘to not turn your (their) back on racism’.

The video has 7.4 M views on Twitter and has been reposted a 100K times, while on Instagram the video has over 15 M views and has been liked by over 5 M people.

Apart from the social media campaign, the company has also pledged to commit $40 million over four years to the black community in the US.

Even though the company is making active efforts to help the movement, a lot of people are bashing Nike for not ‘walking the talk’. This is especially in regards to the fact that the Nike Executive Board does not have a single Black member in it, even though Nike makes millions of dollars every year out of Black sportspeople.

2. Spotify

Spotify revamped its app majorly for Black Out Tuesday on June 2, 2020. Covers and titles of playlists like ‘Today’s Top Hits’ and ‘Indigo’ had been made black for the day while certain playlists and podcasts started including an 8-minute 46-second track of silence to mark the length of time that George Floyd was suffocated.

Users in the US saw a shelf on the home page that took them to the specially curated ‘Black Out’ playlists while free users were shown #BLM related ads to raise awareness.

Apart from that, Spotify is matching employee donations to Black Lives Matter funds and campaigns.

The company is facing severe backlash by musicians and businesspeople over its strategy to match employee donations and several people have pointed out that adding the silent track to playlists has actually served no purpose to the movement.


Spotify’s black cover and title for Black Out Tuesday

3. Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon recently took to Twitter to post an image of a ‘Declaration Of Kid’s Rights’, that declared ‘You (they) have a right to be treated with equality, regardless of the colour of your skin’. The post has over 84k likes on twitter and over 92k likes on Instagram.

On the evening on June 1, the channel also went off the air for 8 minutes 46 seconds to pay respect to George Floyd and displayed a message that read ‘I can’t breathe’; Floyd’s words which have now become a representative for the BLM movement.

Going a step further, the company has also announced a donation of $5 million to organisations supporting the movement including the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, National Bail Out, Amnesty International and others.

4. Fenty Beauty

Rihanna’s Fenty beauty took quite a bold step to show solidarity with the #BLM movement. The beauty company’s Instagram handle shared a black image in support of the Black Out Tuesday and captioned the post, announcing, ‘We are not staying silent and we are not standing by.

The company also stopped all operations on June 2 to take a day to ‘reflect’.

Fenty, Fenty Beauty and Savage x Fenty all donated an undisclosed amount in partnership with Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation across Color Of Change, Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) and more.

5. YouTube

The corporate giant took to social media and revamped its signature red and white logo to black and white in support of the BLM movement. YouTube’s Twitter bio has also been changed to 'Black Lives Matter'.

Apart from that, YouTube has pledged $1 million to social justice initiatives.

However, it has received severe retaliation by users for this move. A lot of people called YouTube for its ‘hypocrisy’, urging that it never discouraged racist videos on its platform and actively acted as a breeding ground for white supremacists.