P&G's latest ad takes on racial bias against black men in America

Key Points
  • Procter & Gamble's "The Look" explores bias against black men in America.
  • The company has explored this topic before, including with a video on black parents having conversations with their children about the racial bias they might face.
  • This spot was created with Saturday Morning, a creative group that seeks to change perceptions on racial bias and injustice.
A still image from "The Look."

Procter & Gamble wants to get people thinking about racial bias with a spot called "The Look," which follows a black man and the way the world sees him.

"The Look" was released Thursday on a P&G site, along with educational materials, historical examples and (eventually) resources to "educate and continue the conversation on how unconscious bias plays a role in society today." The spot was previewed last week at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and at a BET Networks conference called Meta.

The latest ad shows a black man going through his day, with people seeming to willingly shut an elevator before he approaches or watching him suspiciously while he browses in a store. At the end, he's revealed at the helm of a courtroom as a judge. It concludes with the words, "Let's talk about the look so we can see beyond it."

The consumer packaged goods giant has touched on this topic before. An earlier video called "The Talk" depicts conversations black parents have with their children to prepare them for racial bias they may face. That ad won an outstanding commercial Emmy award. And earlier this month, the company's "My Black is Beautiful" campaign asked dictionaries to rethink their definitions of the word "black," saying dictionaries too often prioritize terms such as "evil" or "dirty" over those that describe the word as it relates to identity and skin color.

P&G knows consumers these days are wary of advertising, so the company says it's exploring different creative partnerships to expand "what advertising could be." This particular spot was created with a "creative collective" called Saturday Morning, which seeks to change perceptions on racial bias and injustice.

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