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AT&T Honors Black Future Makers

Brand: AT&T
Lead Agency: The 360 Agency
Award Level: Category Winner
Year: 2021
Categories: African-American

Campaign Summary

AT&T celebrated those members of the Black community who were working to build a better future.



2020 was a tough year for everybody, especially for Black Americans. With a renewed national focus on racial injustice and inequality, AT&T wanted to celebrate Black excellence by honoring those achievers who were not daunted by the past but continued to serve and to pursue their dreams despite the odds.

As 2021 emerged as a year of hope, AT&T worked to create an inspirational campaign rooted in deep cultural insight. The organization leveraged the award-winning Dream in Black platform, which embodies a mindset that success can look like anything someone can dream. Dream in Black celebrates not only success but the pursuit of success and the milestones along the way.

During the month of February, when the U.S. traditionally focuses on the history of Black Americans, AT&T boldly flipped the script by reframing the month as Black Future Month to honor those Black people who were pushing the culture forward and working to create a beautiful future. The brand set out to celebrate the doers and the dreamers, to thank the makers, shapers, and creators, and to revere these inspiring individuals as the Black Future Makers that they were.

The business goal was simply to drive brand affinity and deepen AT&T's relationship with Black consumers in an authentic, meaningful way.

Target Audience

In terms of diversity and inclusion, this campaign had three key audiences, two external and one internal:

  • Primary external target: AT&T Black and general market audiences
  • Secondary external target: Non-AT&T Black and general market audiences
  • Internal target: AT&T employees

AT&T wanted all audiences — both external and internal — to feel celebrated, heard, and respected. The company especially wanted Black consumers to know that AT&T recognized and valued their contributions.

Media was purchased against the demographic of African Americans, ages 18 to 54.

Key Insights

There is an adage in the Black community, "Give me my flowers now, while I can still smell them." This simple yet powerful sentiment reflects the deep need that we all have to be seen, heard, and acknowledged in a meaningful way. AT&T's campaign was inspired by this cultural insight: Recognize the pursuit of dreams and celebrate dreamers by giving them their flowers — that is, acknowledgement and honor — now.

AT&T chose an artistic path to make a statement about inclusion and visibility. The brand selected 28 Black Future Makers, including celebrities, performers, athletes, journalists, entrepreneurs, and essential workers, as well as AT&T employees, and celebrated them using portraiture infused with a rich and modern cultural aesthetic created by visual artist and future maker Temi Coker.

Together with Coker, AT&T created a dynamic look that integrated celebratory flowers and fine art into an engaging experience throughout retail, digital, broadcast, and social. The brand literally brought this dynamic look to life with a series of living portraits in its anthemic broadcast spot. Focusing on frontline workers and everyday heroes such as veterans, doctors, and activists, and featuring an original score by Grammy-nominated and Emmy-winning musical artist Chief WaKil, and anchored by cultural icon LeBron James, who also delivered a voiceover, AT&T's ad offered a rich cinematic tapestry

Because AT&T's insight was deeply rooted in a cultural need, the brand wanted to offer a way for everyone to participate. Using elements from its campaign, AT&T created an interactive portrait-generator that allowed anyone to put themselves in high art. The brand also invited consumers to share their dreams and stories for a chance to win $10,000 to help make those dreams a reality. AT&T extended this contest to give away $10,000 per month throughout all of 2021.


  • Over 1 billion organic impressions
  • Over 630 million PR impressions
  • 799,000 estimated coverage views
  • Over 411 million social media impressions
  • A 92 percent positive brand sentiment overall (98 percent positive on Instagram)
  • Over 2.1 million social engagements
  • A reach of over 68.1 million
  • Over 4.1 million digital video views

"AT&T Dream in Black Honors Black Future Makers." 2021 ANA Multicultural Excellence Award Category Winner, African-American. Brand: AT&T. Lead Agency: The 360 Agency.

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