'Driving While Black' Delivered the Week's Most Powerful Message

Protecting Black drivers from police brutality

When creatives at Goodby Silverstein & Partners were brainstorming "Driving While Black," they considered actually building the campaign's special sedan, but scrapped the idea owing to time and logistics.

Instead, the powerhouse initiative, developed with Critical Mass and The Mill, features a vehicle that only exists in the virtual world.

Backing the Courageous Conversation Global Foundation and timed to the Detroit Auto Show, the work deftly leverages tech tropes and car intros to demand change in the face of police brutality against Black drivers at traffic stops.

CCGF | Driving While Black

In fact, there are plenty of real cars involved in the campaign. There are millions. Those would be the ones driven by Black folks every day. Such drivers are 20 percent more likely to be stopped and searched and three times more likely to be killed by officers.

"Our hope is to give people a glimpse into how it feels to drive while Black and spark a conversation that promotes change," says Critical Mass executive creative director Steve Savic. 

While pointed and appropriately chilling, the approach derives much of its power from irony and restraint. Craig Mitchell, who narrates the project video, strikes the perfect tone. Serious yet subdued, his measured delivery helps make the impact all the more devastating.

It's a tragedy such work must exist at all. But "Driving While Black" ranks among the best PSAs of the year so far, and we've chosen it as Muse's Ad of the Week.

Other strong outings include Apple's iPhone 15 rocker with Olivia Rodrigo and Dunkin's surprisingly tasty pairing of Ben Affleck and Ice Spice. Tubi's sendup of sitcoms and movies gave us a smile, and sportswear brand On ran wild by casting triathletes as heroes of Norse mythology.

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