Monday, February 11, 2008

BHM: Breaking New Ground

Just 11 days into Black History Month, We have some new monumental firsts as a people in the business world. In the realm of radio, XM has the distinction of being the first satelitte radio provider to have a 24 hour channel solely devoted to African American talk programming. With shows featuring politcal commentators Al Sharpton and Tavis Smiley to sports talk with The 2 Live Stews, XM has expanded programming and is truely offering listeners a diversity of African-American opinion and talent. Tune in starting today (Feb. 11) to check out new program offerings on The Power - XM Channel 169.

Late last week, serial entreprenurs Steve Stoute and Jay-Z announced their newest venture, Translation Advertising. Focused on the multicultural market, the new agency will work in conjunction with Translation Consulting and Brand Imaging, Stoute's consulting venture that we are to thank for endorsement deals such as Jay-Z and Reebok, Gwen Stefani and HP, and Beyonce and Tommy Hilfiger. The Interpublic Group of Companies in New York will own 49% of Translation Advertising. Hopefully this new agency will provide some diverse opportunites for minorities and recent grads.

Last on the list, Food Network has introduced it's first cooking program with African American hosts. "Down Home With The Neelys" is a 30 minute coooking show that highlights the unique offering of Memphis Bar-B-Que's "first family". I think it is surprising that the Food Network has been around since 1993 and this is their first black show. I definitely think that it is a good look and I wish the Neelys much success. Check out their show Satruday mornings at 11 a.m. on the Food Network.



  1. I'm glad Steve Stoute and Jay-Z are coming together to create what I hope will be a successful Multicultural agency! I hope it reaches the multicultural masses in a way that other agency's have not been successful at. However...I was extremely dissappointed and appauled to say the least that Jay-Z would diss an ad that was created by another multicultural agency! To add to that...he couldn't have been more WRONG with his statement. For those who did not read the article in the NY Times on this new venture between Jay & Steve, Jigga made a tasteless comment...see below:

    “There are people who don’t understand the culture,” Jay-Z said, citing as an example a commercial for a wireless carrier “that shows guys break-dancing in the phone store.”

    “It’s just not something we do,” he added dryly.

    “We go into the stores and want the same thing as everyone else,” Jay-Z said, adding: “We may care about the style of the phone a little bit more, but we want our phone to work. We care about the functionality.”

    Now...yes...we do care about functionality... however...the point of the ad was to connect with the consumer...not blabber about functionality! Once you draw the consumer into the store...then you talk about functionality!
    It was a multicultural agency that created that ad...why would you knock the tactics of an agency that is striving to do what you are doing? Furthermore...since when is breakdancing not "something we do"? Since the begginning of hip hop...breakdancing has been an integral part! It may have went through a dry spell...but it has bounced back and is becoming more popular...just like skateboarding. Also...aren't there a million dance competition's on TV and on the Big Screen that features breakdancing...i.e. Randy Jackson's on MTV!!! LOL...I can't get with that statement.

    Whether you were born in the '80's or that was your "prime", you can relate to what breakdancing takes you to a culture...regardless of if you physically can still connect with that because it was your era!!! did jay-z think of who the target might be??? clueless! I know Jay-z gets behind things and make magic...but with that mindset...I hope he can pull this off!