Tune Up Your Axe: We’re Taking The Battle To First Avenue

October 23, 2018

The BrandLab, an organization dedicated to improving diversity in the advertising and communications industry, recently released the results of a survey that indicated that we continue to make strides in moving our industry toward one that better mirrors society. Over the past four years, people of color in the Twin Cities ad agency community have grown from 6 to 10 percent of all employees. That’s progress. But, when you consider that we are still only halfway to the goal of at least 20 percent, and struggling to attract and retain people of color at the managerial level, it’s clear that we cannot rest on our laurels. Now is the time to keep pushing.

All of us.

To that end, today, in partnership with the BrandLab and the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts, we are launching The Battle, a new event designed to help change the face of our industry.

Like so many such events in our industry, this one will have plenty of speakers. We’ll have amps, guitars, drums and turntables, too.

Yup, we’re turning it up to 11. The name describes the essence of the event. At its core, it’s a Battle of the Bands between Twin Cities advertising and communications agencies. It’s a celebration of creativity in our industry beyond the work we do every day. The name also describes a broader Battle we’re all fighting: improving diversity in our industry. The Battle will be a showcase for the good work already being done in this area, and a challenge to all of us to do more.

We’re inviting anyone affiliated with our industry to take part. Not just in the audience. On stage. That’s right. This is your chance to get up and perform at First Avenue, where Prince courted Apollonia and music legends are cemented. Perform with a full horn section, fly solo with a turntable or something in between. The point is to let loose, have fun and be creative. Band sign-up has just begun and spots are limited. More details can be found here.

And if watching Carol in HR and Robert in media perform Islands in the Stream isn’t entertaining enough, The Battle will feature special performances throughout the night by P.O.S, Chastity Brown, Dave Simonett (Dead Man Winter and Trampled by Turtles), and rising stars Static Panic. General admission tickets go on sale later this week. All proceeds from the Battle will seed a new scholarship fund that will support diverse students seeking a career in our industry. The Battle Scholarship Fund is the cornerstone of an exciting new collaboration between BrandLab, the U of M’s College of Liberal Arts and its amazing student-run ad/PR firm, CLAgency.

Start a band. Become a sponsor. Buy a ticket. Tell a friend.

In short, there are plenty of ways to join The Battle. We look forward to seeing you on stage or in the mosh pit on Dec. 6!