Warner Bros. Discovery and GroupM are looking to invest in more diverse voices.
Today, GroupM, WPP’s media investment group, announced that GroupM Motion Entertainment is partnering with Warner Bros. Discovery to support GroupM’s Diverse Voices Accelerator (DVA), an initiative that supports creators, writers, producers, directors and studios from traditionally underrepresented groups.
Between the lines
Through the new partnership, GroupM Motion Entertainment and WBD will develop inclusive content representing diverse audiences and providing connective, organic sponsorship opportunities for advertisers. That inclusive content will also have the full backing of Warner Bros. Discovery’s portfolio of networks and platforms.
“We have a responsibility to create a more inclusive and equitable industry,” Kirk McDonald, CEO, GroupM North America, said in a statement. “This benefits everyone. It empowers content creators who face barriers, provides brands with access to diverse and engaged audiences, and offers viewers authentic programming that captures the richness of the human experience.”
The partnership is already rolling out its first content this fall with a six-part documentary series titled Rebuilding Black Wall Street: Greenwood.
The renovation series, premiering on OWN and created by executive producer Ri-Karlo Handy and his company Sunwise Media, will chronicle the reconstruction of the Greenwood District of Tulsa, which was destroyed in a 1921 massacre. Over six episodes, the series will guide viewers through Greenwood’s history and the personal journeys of the cast, many of whom are the descendants of Black Wall Street residents.
“Warner Bros. Discovery stands for authentic, aspirational and safe programming environments that underrepresented communities can see themselves in, and we pride ourselves in our unique ability to unlock opportunities for brands that share our values,” Sheereen Russell, svp, ad sales and inclusive solutions at Warner Bros. Discovery, said in a statement. “We are thrilled to enhance our commitment to equity and support for creators and producers of color on our platforms through this partnership with GroupM.”
Besides content, DVA will create unique brand activations and opportunities with support from GroupM agencies including Wavemaker, EssenceMediacom and MindShare. Domino’s, a MindShare client, is one of the brands already participating.
“At Domino’s, it’s important that both our media and advertising reflect the diversity of our customers, our team members and the communities we serve,” said Kate Trumbull, Domino’s svp, brand and product innovation. “Through our partnership with GroupM’s DVA program, we are proud to support the creation of original programming developed by a variety of diverse voices in media and entertainment.”
The DVA is part of GroupM’s Media Inclusion Initiative, which rolled out in 2021 as a way to grow and support a diverse range of Black-owned media companies and creators. In addition to the DVA, the program revolved around a 2+% Pledge, inviting GroupM clients to invest at least 2% of their total media budgets in Black-owned media.
For its part, Warner Bros. Discovery has also been focusing on DEI initiatives in the year ahead, with Jon Steinlauf, Warner Bros Discovery’s chief U.S. advertising sales officer, previously telling Adweek that the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging initiatives was a major change in the TV ad marketplace.