From Concept to Campaign: How We Brought Re: Stock To LifeStoryblocks Features
May 15, 2021
From Concept to Campaign: How We Brought Re: Stock To Life
When I joined Storyblocks at the end of 2018, there wasn’t a brand team. That didn’t come into existence until late 2019, but we formed a small team with big goals and even bigger ideas of how we could work on projects with real impact. At that point, Re: Stock was tentatively titled our “Diversity and Inclusion Campaign” and felt like a pipe dream that the three of us wanted to bring to life.
Storyblocks had gotten comments throughout the years about bringing diversity to our stock library but as we continued to grow, one or two comments a month turned into a few comments a week. It wasn’t just our own members we were hearing from anymore.
Our audience was growing, but the diversity of people shown in our content wasn’t.
As someone who knew from a very young age that they were queer, representation was something I cared about before I even knew what it really meant. When a part of your identity isn’t shown in mainstream media, you instinctively look for people and characters you can connect with. Whenever same-sex couples or a queer person were in a commercial, tv show, book, movie, or another piece of media, I got emotional.
It was like finding a needle in a haystack in some respects. But when I was able to find it, I held onto it. I still have copies from when I was younger of the few books I found that had LGBTQ+ main characters and/or centered around a teen’s journey in understanding their sexuality. That representation told me that I wasn’t alone, and that I wasn’t “wrong” for being different.
Once you understand the power that representation has, of course you fight for it.
We started with the core issue: stock footage is overwhelmingly white. We knew we wanted to work with BIPOC artists, starting with the Black community. We knew we wanted to work with artists local to the DC area. So we searched high and low, and came up with a roster of filmmakers with amazing portfolios. Contracts were negotiated and signed, then we started planning how the campaign would look, feel, and sound.
The name Re: Stock quite literally means a reply to stock. We’re addressing the industry as a whole, calling it out and asking it to change. We’re working on changing our library, but we also hope to inspire change for other companies. On top of that, we’re also replying to the tweets, emails, and comments we’ve gotten about diversifying our library, showing that we’re listening.
When the campaign finally came together and we were ready to launch, we took a deep breath as a company. This was so different from anything we’d ever done before and addressed a topic that carried a huge emotional weight. We weren’t the first to address representation in stock, but it was a new direction for Storyblocks.
So we launched. And the response was absolutely amazing. The excitement, the appreciation, and the support made the roadblocks along the way well worth it. We were accepted to SXSW to host a talk about Re: Stock and representation. We were nominated for two Webby awards.
The pipe dream we’d had in 2019 had become a fully formed, award-nominated company initiative in 2020.
Now, the next iteration of Re: Stock is launching. It features a set of footage collections created by LGBTQ+ filmmakers and starring members of the LGBTQ+ community. A few of these filmmakers are also BIPOC, keeping intersectionality at the forefront for our goal of 20% BIPOC representation in our footage by 2022.
In many ways, Re: Stock is my dream project. Being able to hire artists from underrepresented communities, to have them be able to create footage that reflects their community, their story, and their experiences? It’s amazing.
I feel so grateful and privileged to be able to work on something as meaningful and important as Re: Stock. That gratitude is shared by every single member of my team who’s involved in the campaign, and I believe that’s what makes it special. We’re each able to understand the weight and meaning in this campaign across our different identities, so we understand the importance of getting it right.
If you’re interested in participating as an artist in our Re: Stock campaign, you can reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org – please include a link to your portfolio. And to learn more about Re: Stock click the button below.