The Root staff knows all about the struggle that is finding the right stock photo as the main art for a news story. You enter a search term like, “Black man contemplating imploding during a long-term lockdown” and you can’t find shit because the library is congested with white folks contemplating imploding during a long-term lockdown. All digital media creators suffer from this lack of content in some way.
Storyblocks, the first and largest subscription-based platform focused on bringing diversity to stock video content announced on Wednesday that it has launched a campaign called Re:Stock, which is “geared toward closing the diversity gap in media and advertising by addressing the need for more inclusive content that accurately reflects the world today.” That includes BIPOC and LGBTQIA+ communities as well as the intersections in between.
From Storyblocks’ press release sent to The Root:
Within Storyblocks’ current digital library, only five percent of its content contains BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and people of color). By launching Re:Stock, Storyblocks aims to double its selection of diverse content by the end of 2021, and ultimately quadruple the selection of content containing BIPOC by the end of 2022.
According to a recent survey, 72% of Storyblocks users said that it was important to have access to diverse content for the projects they create. To address this demand, Storyblocks commissioned a cohort of seven filmmakers and one film collective to each create collections of footage that portray people and communities that are underrepresented in digital media today. Each collection will include 50 videos featuring the authentic experiences of BIPOC and the LGBTQI+ communities.
“In the past when I’ve looked for certain stock footage or music, it’s been really hard to find representation for people that look like me. So, I was super excited for Storyblocks to come to me and ask me to be a part of this project,” Re:Stock creator Monica Singleton said in a statement. Re:Stock’s first two collections will feature work from Singleton and fellow creator Samson Binutu that will focus on the many layers of experiences centering BIPOC communities.
“Advertisers and creatives have the ability to influence stereotypes, for good or bad,” Sydney Carlton, director of brand marketing at Storyblocks, exclusively tells The Root. “However, there are many hurdles to overcome to produce fully inclusive ads and video content, stock video being one of them. Stock video is traditionally used as a seamless way to depict humans without having to do the labor-intensive legwork of engaging a casting company or paying a production agency. Oftentimes, this convenience sacrifices fully dimensional and diverse portrayals of people for access and practicality.
“We believe it should be as practical and accessible to feature a wide range of races, body types, sexualities and genders as it is to feature cis-gendered, straight, white people in the media,” Carlton continues. “Ultimately, we believe stock media should empower all creators and the stories they wish to tell.”
To learn about the new Re:Stock campaign and to check out the new collections, head to storyblocks.com.