Created for Black audiences and produced and distributed exclusively by underrepresented businesses, the series aims to address the inequities in the advertising supply chain by providing a platform for advertisers to engage consumers through entertaining and informative content.
2020 was a turning point for brands and agencies. A convergence of health and social crises forced brands to reevaluate their position on how to respond to issues and use their influence for good. We set out to disrupt and address the inequities in the advertising supply chain with a first-ever program exclusively created and distributed by Black-owned partners.
More Than That with Gia Peppers is a first-of-its-kind radio show and podcast with a 100% Black-owned supply chain. Hosted by Gia Peppers, a leading journalist and on-air talent, and featuring guests who connect to each episode’s theme, we discuss everything from entertainment, finances, wellness, family, health and more. Season 1 launched during Black History Month in 2021 and included 9 episodes, followed by a 2-episode Juneteenth special and a 1-episode Pride special produced in collaboration with Pride.com. Season 2 aired in February 2022 and ran for 10 episodes, with a 2-episode Juneteenth special.
With the support of brands including General Motors, Procter & Gamble, Kroger and Mastercard, we have aired two very successful seasons of the show on Black-owned radio stations across the US. The shared values of our sponsors, specifically around DE&I and building on their trajectory towards a demonstrated commitment became the catalysts for positive change that we mirrored in the writing and composition of More Than That. Each episode is structured with a custom intro, interstitial, and outro that we co-write with our sponsors to align with their shared values and the values of the Black community.
From a production standpoint, this initiative encapsulated a new model for inspiring and authentic storytelling with over 95% of the creative and production teams (40+ collaborators) identifying as BIPOC. This includes all the writers, directors, producers, composers, and researchers in addition to our host, Gia, and all guests. Additionally, any third-party production companies that were brought onto the show were minority-owned.
Regarding our distribution, the National Association of Black-Owned Broadcasters (NABOB) and several member CEOs lent their support and provided guidance to ensure that the series was authentic and meaningful for a sustained impact. All content ran consistently across stations owned or managed by different Black-owned networks including Radio One, American Urban Radio Networks, and Spotset (NABOB’s owned-network). We also supported a new, small Black women-owned network, Café Mocha Radio in Season 2. The show was simulcasted across all streaming and podcast platforms.
To further our engagement with the More Than That audience, we launched social platforms in 2022. Across Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, we were able to further engage with our audience, drive listenership, provide behind-the-scenes content, and help each viewer learn something new.
Planning further into 2023, we are focusing on Season 3 of our radio show and are developing a More Than That video series and a Spanish-language version of the show for the Hispanic/Latinx audiences.
The second season was a resounding success, building on our momentum from Season 1, with sponsorship messages (:30s) performing above radio industry norms and, at times, outperforming 95% of radio ads (:30s-:60s), up 5% from Season 1’s performance. The sponsorship messages saw +25 points in consideration and +18 points in differentiation pre versus post. This exceeded all expectations, particularly given that we were pioneering new ground.
Over 750MM impressions delivered across both seasons
$8MM invested into diverse-owned businesses across both seasons
Brand’s commitment to DEI, purpose and people, +34 points (up 9 pts From Season 1)
Doing the right thing, +32
Stands up for social justice & equity, +33
Cares about people & communities, +28 (up 3 pts from Season 1)
Respects my community & culture, +34 (up 9 pts from Season 1)
Brand affinity, +9 points
Brand innovation, +10 points
Brand esteem (proud to be associated with), +13 points (up 2pts from Season 1)
Brand Premium (willing to pay more for), +3 points
52% of the audience was motivated to get involved with social causes
62% of Black audiences felt the content was extremely/very important to them
The increases in attitudinal metrics were statistically significant and confirmed that a non-traditional approach could achieve similar, if not better, results than a traditional ad approach.
“We at NABOB are very pleased to see ‘More Than That with Gia Peppers’ come to fruition. We are delighted to see the team at dentsu Americas have gone far beyond mere words and have inspired several of their major clients to launch a national advertising campaign on NABOB’s member stations and networks. This is a game changing commitment, and I hope it marks the beginning of a new relationship between NABOB, dentsu Americas and the major national advertisers who are supporting this series.” - Jim Winston, President, National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters (NABOB)
“P&G is joining forces to create content for good and help address systemic inequalities in the creative and media supply chain. Being part of the development of ‘More Than That with Gia Peppers’ enables both—creating content through under-represented voices and stories that deepens understanding of the Black experience in America—and increasing direct investment in minority-owned and operated companies which ultimately helps close income and wealth gaps.” - Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer, Procter & Gamble
Simmy Bhargava, Executive Producer
Dirk Herbert, Research Lead
Jennifer Hungerbuhler, Investment Lead
Diana Anderson, Investment Lead
Jemilla Mills-Smith, Copywriter
Christine Mangosing, Art Director
Britney Stafl, Social Project Manager
One Solution Production:
Gia Peppers, Host
Matthew Smith, Executive Producer
Ma’at Zachary, Executive Producer
Anne Coburn, Producer
Shirley Williams, Showrunner
Tavia Afuwah, Associate Producer
Brandon Bouknight, Project Manager
Ameer Copper, Project Manager
Alana Cornish, Strategic Partnerships
Abigail Bazile, Senior Account Manager
Young Arcader, Composer
Production Company: Urban One
Media Distribution: Radio One, SpotSet, AURN, Café Mocha Radio, Kudzukian
Client Sponsors: General Motors, Kroger, Procter & Gamble, Mastercard