Issa Rae and Alicia Keys Narrate Inspiring New Ads for MasterClass

Jenn Nkiru explores identity and voice with upcoming instructors

MasterClass is out with new advertising from Anomaly under the theme "The World Could Use One of You," including two films narrated by upcoming instructors Issa Rae and Alicia Keys.

Jenn Nkiru, known for the music video "Apeshit" by the Carters and her work on Black Is King, the visual album by Beyoncé, directed the new campaign. Nkiru also enlisted Todd Tourso, creative director for Beyoncé and Lady Gaga, to work on "Your Words Create Your World," the film with Alicia Keys.

Both new spots are artful and inspiring. Rae's film addresses artists who are looking for themselves reflected in others, and encourages them to be original. The Keys film focuses on the power of one's voice.

Mirror Affirmations | The World Could Use One of You | MasterClass
Words Create Your World | Alicia Keys MasterClass Teaser | MasterClass

"If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that we have so much to learn from each other," David Schriber, CMO of MasterClass, said in a statement. "The MasterClass platform is rooted in self-empowerment through learning, so we owe it to ourselves to share our voices and take action with courage. As we wrap a year unlike any other, we wanted 'The World Could Use One of You' to inspire people to be their best selves in service of each other."

"It has been an incredible journey working on this campaign, as it's given me the opportunity to creatively showcase the value of empowering yourself and those around you," Nkiru said. "That message is more important now than ever before, and each of these films offers a sense of hope and resilience during a time when the world needs it the most."

"The World Could Use One of You" will also spring to life in print, digital and out-of-home, including billboards in New York City, Los Angeles and Chicago. Media planning and buying was handled by Exverus and Tatari. 

A third film, coming soon, will feature current MasterClass instructor Neil deGrasse Tyson. The new work follows an earlier brand campaign from Anomaly that broke last spring under the theme "Today's the day."

Tim Nudd
Tim Nudd was editor in chief of the Clio Awards and editor of Muse by Clio from 2018 to 2023.

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