With the aim of capturing greater multicultural representation, Disney Advertising Sales has officially announced its partnership with Translation for its newest ad campaign.
Earlier this year, Disney Advertising Sales and Translation LLC began negotiations on a partnership to develop advertisements with greater, more organic multicultural reach. Due to the onset of the pandemic, however, delays had prevented the two from finalizing the collaboration until just last week.
Operating for over 15 years, Translation has made its mark on several industries, working with cultural stars like Jay-Z, Lebron James, James Dolan, Will Smith, and Jada Pinkett-Smith to create ad campaigns for the New York Knicks, Brooklyn Nets, State Farm, Nike, and UnitedMasters. Translation even recruited music artist Pusha T to compose the iconic McDonald’s “Ba da ba ba ba, I’m lovin’ it,” jingle.
“As an African-American leader of a mainstream agency for the last 15 years, this was a watershed moment for me, as I’ve been fighting the headwinds of trying to get a seat at the table, to make work for major companies and not be segmented to just the African American audience,” says Translation CEO Steve Stoute. “Now, they’re leaning in, understanding that ethnic insights are the insights of popular culture. Diversity is a way to connect to youth.”
Disney Advertising Sales brands include ESPN, ABC, FreeForm, FX, National Geographic Channel, Disney Channel and the owned-and-operated ABC local TV stations. Translation’s ongoing commitment to multicultural representation paired with a creative behemoth like Disney signals a momentous shift in the movement toward greater inclusivity in popular culture.
“Ultimately, we were in a place where we knew creative storytelling mattered, but we also wanted to be able to scale it across audiences, and scale the expertise with people who had experience with brands on how to make culturally relevant creative stand out in the media business,” says President of Disney Advertising Sales Rita Ferro. “Disney has scale and brands that matter. We wanted to take that as a foundational platform, and use the best brand partnerships—like we did with Steve and Translation on State Farm, and what we did with CreativeWorks with Ford—to create moments that stand out and drive brands’ business.”
One of the first collaborations between Disney and Translation actually came earlier this year during the well-renowned Michael Jordan and Chicago Bulls documentary The Last Dance. Airing on Disney-owned ESPN, the State Farm deep fake ad doctors a news anchor’s 1998 report on the Bulls to include popular 2020 slang terms. Although the advertisement was a hit, it also opened a discussion about the ethics of AI, especially in regards to deep fake technology.