2018 BET Awards / 360 Campaign


What a fantastic experience it was to partner with the amazing team at BET for the design and production of elements for the 2018 BET Awards. The BET Awards is the biggest event for the network each year; a rich celebration of black culture in entertainment, music, sports, and films.

We were absolutely honored to respond to the BETA 18 RFP, which called for a connected and current theme to bring this year’s campaign to life. We crafted four distinct treatments based on authentic, relevant ideas. Each concept was fleshed out with print comps, from billboard art, subway posters and night-of event material to on-air animation proofs of concept and digital media thinking.

Inspiration behind our winning direction is a nod to current, relevant influencer, and supremely talented artist, Kehinde Wiley. Kehinde’s lush and vibrant portraits encouraged us think about the striking immortality of his art. Kehinde has an incredible ability to do with paint what a photographer would do with a camera. So, this treatment is an ode to the vibrancy, texture, color, and arresting quality of his work while capturing an ownable spirit and fresh, timely, visual language for the 2018 BET Awards.

We architected a brand system that utilizes a graphic ‘frame’ to display and feature photographs of the honored BET talent and stars of the evening. Each individual is framed by a unique photographic texture and is artfully featured in varied compositions. The campaign is a vivid, contemporary system rooted in artfully-curated borders, clean, bold typography, and vibrant color, all with a wink of ever-changing detail within the BET star.

As for animation properties and behavior, and after a great deal of exploratory tests, we landed on a technique that fuses an editorial quality with fluid, intercut motion. This technique allowed for us to capitalize on clear, bold messaging beneath a fluid undercurrent of class, elegance and sophistication. Texture, color, and shifts in scale play off one another to deliver a clean and contemporary result.

Our initial design phase was bolstered with three other treatments that also spoke to the tenets of the BET Awards campaign and the BET brand. Color, photography, typography, and composition combine with curated elegance to showcase and promote the event experience in artfully different ways.

To ensure campaign and creative integrity for OOH and on-air, we authored a comprehensive, 72-page style guide. Each nuance of detail from typesetting print and on-air information to coding and bulletproofing all things broadcast, we set up the BET team for efficient success via an intuitive, user-friendly, and failsafe system of assets.