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  • Shabbir Akhtar

Igniting Dreams with "These Hands"



About a month ago, on May 25, 2021 P&G launched the ‘These Hands’ campaign, which is a part of the larger ‘Widen the Screen’ campaign that was launched in March 2021 to build “an expansive content creation, talent development, and partnership platform that celebrates creativity and enables Black creators to share the full richness of the Black experience.” You can get more details about the ‘Widen the Screen’ campaign at https://us.pg.com/widen-the-screen.

The ‘These Hands’ campaign has been launched to “address the systematic bias and inequality in advertising and media” when portraying Blacks. The video captures an honest conversation between a real father and son – specifically former NFL player turned entrepreneur Andrew Hawkins and his son – and takes the audience on a journey through the kid’s imagination as his father” opens up his mind to the possibilities of anything and everything he could do with his hands” beyond excelling in sports.

The microsite by P&G at https://us.pg.com/these-hands highlights the problem (“Sports provide a strong foundation in youth development and can be one path to endless opportunities. But for Black boys, sports can be viewed as the only path to success.”) and what the campaign is traying to achieve (“Encouraging the imagination of young Black boys, especially those praised for their athleticism, and showing them the endless possibilities of their future. Black boys have enormous creativity, and we must encourage, nurture and protect this valuable quality”).

The launch video of ‘These Hands’ campaign features former NFL player turned media personality, producer, businessman, and activist, Andrew Hawkins, as the primary spokesperson and also features Dr. Myron Rolle - former NFL player who is now a neurosurgery resident at the best hospital in the United States, as well as founder of the ‘Our Way to Health’ anti-childhood obesity program, Rich Paul - Co-founder and CEO of powerhouse sports agency, Klutch Sports Group, who also serves on United Talent Agency’s Board of Directors and UTA’s Head of Sports, Blue the Great - self-taught artist who is revered in the creative community for artistic consistency, versatility, and the ability to bring his audience into a colorful world where anything is possible, and Leland Melvin - Former NFL wide receiver who spent over 20 years as a researcher, astronaut, and service leader at NASA. Released his first memoir in 2017. And the video has been directed by Rohan Blair-Mangat - winning director and co-founder of Change the Lens, an organization created to increase representation and opportunities for Black filmmakers in the commercial and music video industry.

The success achieved by all the Black men associated with the campaign, beyond the realm of sports, adds credibility (Ethos) and provides strong evidence (Logos) to the message being delivered. And the fact that the primary spokesperson Andrew Hawkins is delivering this message to his real son in the video plays on the emotions of the audience (Pathos). Ethos, Logos and Pathos form Aristotle's Rhetorical Triangle and are important components of storytelling and persuading the audience. Moreover, the message being delivered is so real and strong that audience can truly relate to the problem being refereed to, feel happy and proud for the real success stories being shown on screen and truly want the kid to succeed in a profession he is passionate about be it sports or beyond it.


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