Wyclef Jean Helps Recast Black Friday as #BlackOwnedFriday

From Google, the U.S. Black Chambers and BBH

"Black Friday
They say spend for less.
We say take your hard-earned dollars
To a Black—owned business.
Oh it's the season to show up and show love.
Black Friday is Black-owned Friday."

Wyclef Jean supports the #BlackOwnedFriday project from Google and the U.S. Black Chambers with two new tracks and zippy animated videos. First up is an anthem for the initiative, which launched last month and is designed to redirect Black Friday dollars to African American establishments struggling amid the pandemic:

Wyclef Jean ft. Jazzy Amra - The Black-Owned Friday Anthem

Next, Wyclef rhapsodizes about one of his favorite Black-owned businesses, Vibez Juice & Vegan Café in Jersey City, New Jersey:

Wyclef Jean - Vibez (A #BlackOwnedFriday Jingle)

"They say the vegan mac n cheese is a hit
They say I gotta drink strong Vibez,
They say I gotta drink good Vibez,
They gonna turn you to a vegan—
I thought the patty had chicken."

Wyclef worked with BBH New York on the project. He discusses his involvement here.

In addition to Wyclef, R&B singer Ari Lennox created this track for the cause, waxing poetic about Grounded, an online subscription-based plant store in Washington, D.C.:

Ari Lennox - GROUNDED (A #BlackOwnedFriday Jingle)

"You'll grow once you're Grounded...
When your living room is ugly, come and get a tree
You can't grow unless you're Grounded."

"While we absolutely loved the idea of repurposing the ultimate retail trope of a jingle, we knew that in order to maximize reach and really make an impact we needed more than just an audio asset," BBH business director Ali Cornford tells Muse. So, the team worked with BIPOC artists and illustrators from STATE, Not to Scale and LOBO to bring the artists' words to life in clips designed for PR punch and social sharing.

As for working with Wyclef, "he made the process of creating the jingle seem so simple," recalls BBH New York president Amani Duncan. "We provided him with a very broad outline of what we needed, and he took feedback and made it more than we could have expected. All of this happened in one take. I worked in the recorded music business for 10-plus years, and trust me when I say, very few can do what he did."

The project launched on social with tales of businesses fighting for survival and links to resources providing advice and assistance. Independent Black-owned enterprises have closed at double the rate of white-owned businesses during Covid-19, though Google offers a ray of hope, with search interest for "Black-owned businesses" up more than 2,000 percent this year compared to 2019.

"This is not an advertising campaign—it's an initiative to promote real change and support of Black-owned businesses all across our communities in America," Cornford says. "The goal of this work is, of course, to capture your attention—but we don't succeed unless we turn it into action. Because where you spend your dollars really can make change."

CREDITS

Black-Owned Friday

CREATIVE AGENCY: BBH NEW YORK CREDITS
President – Amani Duncan
Chief Creative Officer – Rafa Rizuto
Creative Directors - Joao Unzer, Mikio Bradley
Art Director - Ezell Brown
Motion Designer - Yuan Guo
Executive Producer - Peter Williams
Content Producer - Marc Baill
Global Chief Growth Officer - Tim Harvey
Business Director - Ali Cornford
Account Manager – Bess Howell
Head of Planning – Tom Callard
Comms Strategy Director - Lindsey Cummings
Strategist - Beth Beckman

MUSIC CREDITS: "BLACK-OWNED FRIDAY" ANTHEM
Artist - Wyclef Jean, Jazzy Amra
Producer - Wyclef Jean
Songwriter - Wyclef Jean, Madeline Nelson
Composer - Wyclef Jean
Recording Engineer - Jeremy Torres
Mixing Engineer - Jeremy Torres
Recording Location - Heads Studio, NJ
Writer Splits - Wyclef Jean 75%, Madeline Nelson 25%
ISRC - QM2592002755

ANIMATION CREDITS: "BLACK-OWNED FRIDAY" ANTHEM
Production Company - State Design
Executive Creative Director - Marcel Ziul
Art Director / Character Design - Daniel Batista
Art Director / Illustration - Helton Mattei
Designer - Keisha Okafor
Additional Designs - David Pocull
Animators - André Portnoy; André Dias; Aly Tain; Facundo López; Francisco Castro; Luis Suarez; Lyuben Dimitrov; Marcel Ziul; Matt Everton; Omar Romolino; Reece Parker; Ryan Boyes; Sijia Huang
Executive Producer - Alex dos Santos
Producer - Ricardo Arashiro

PRODUCTION: BLACK SHEEP STUDIOS NY
Creative Director - Jim Schwartz
Supervising Producer - Marc Baill
Motion Designer - Yuan Guo
Sound Mixer - Gunnar Nagle

MUSIC CREDITS: "VIBEZ"
Artist - Wyclef Jean
Producer - Wyclef Jean
Songwriter - Wyclef Jean
Composer - Wyclef Jean
Recording Engineer - Alberto Vaccarino
Mixing Engineer - Alberto Vaccarino
Recording Location - Heads Studio, NJ
Writer Splits - Wyclef 100%
ISRC- QM2592002750

ANIMATION CREDITS: "VIBEZ"
Production Company - State Design
Executive Creative Director - Marcel Ziul
Art Director / Character Design - Daniel Batista
Art Director / Illustration - Helton Mattei
Designer - Keisha Okafor
Additional Designs - David Pocull
Animators - André Portnoy; André Dias; Aly Tain; Facundo López; Francisco Castro; Luis Suarez; Lyuben Dimitrov; Marcel Ziul; Matt Everton; Omar Romolino; Reece Parker; Ryan Boyes; Sijia Huang
Executive Producer - Alex dos Santos
Producer - Ricardo Arashiro

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