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For The Culture: The Must Have App for a Lit Game Night

For The Culture: The Must Have App for a Lit Game Night

For The Culture: The Must Have App for a Lit Game Night

Photo by Ark Creative Company

If you don’t have game night with your friends and family, you need to make that happen! It’s a great, inexpensive way to spend time with your loved ones. Comedy mixed with competition can strengthen a friendship, or at the very least create some of the best memories.

One of my must haves for game night is a free app called For The Culture, which is available on iTunes and Google Play. Founded by Teddy Phillips of Ark Creative Company this game is “a modern spin on the classic guessing game charades that incorporates African American Culture, History, Music and Film into a game that you can play anywhere with your friends and family.”

With entertaining categories such as TV Shows, Music, and Black History, For The Culture will be a favorite during game night. You can continue the fun by purchasing other categories such as 90s, Dances, and Destinations starting at $.99

I had a blast playing the game with my blog partner. Check out our YouTube video to see it in action.

I caught up with Teddy to learn more about how he and his team came up with For The Culture, and what they hope to achieve with the app:

What’s Ark Creative Company about?

“Ark Creative Company develops products to bring cultures together. Our aim is to Inform, Inspire and Include different cultures in every product we create. Our first product is For The Culture.”

What inspired you to create For The Culture?

“I was inspired to create For The Culture because I felt the gaming culture lacked representation from the most commonly adopted culture. Right then, I saw the need to put Black culture, history and arts all into one interactive game.”

What was your experience creating the app?

“It was a great learning experience that showed me how deeply rooted and impacting Black culture really is. I had already developed products for Fortune 100 companies, but what made this more exciting was that I was able to connect more emotionally with this product and put my community’s experiences and interests into a platform that could scale worldwide. I never would have thought that China would be our second largest region for app downloads behind the United States. This simple metric validated the entire vision and the power of this culture.”

For The Culture

What’s your favorite category in the app and why?

“From an educational aspect, Black History is my favorite category. Not only did I feel it was important to have historic figures and innovators, but I also wanted to highlight individuals who had their lives cut short by senseless acts of injustice and police brutality. I wanted to find a way to extend their memory beyond a hashtag that trended for a week or two. I feel like these individuals are apart of a larger discussion that leads to more conversations about equality. I felt it was important to honor these men and women and never forget the impact they had on the community.”

What do you want people to feel when they play For The Culture?

“When people play FTC, I want them to feel educated by the content, empowered by the design and entertained with culture that reflects their daily lives.”

Teddy and his team at the Ark Creative Company are definitely off to a great start with For The Culture! Download the free app on iTunes and Google Play for your next game night.

I hope you have as much fun playing as I did!

STAY PLUGGED IN

We’d love to connect with you. Here’s a few ways you can get down with the Intecoo team:

Join the Slack crew: Connect with other black and brown content creators from all over. Inside we’re sharing opportunities, tackling topics and supporting one another’s work.

Submit your content: We’re always open to new contributors that want to share some game with our community.

Stay plugged in with our email list: We’ll send you more content about dope campaigns, media trends, culture shifts, and new technology. We promise to only share gems whenever we pop into your inbox.

#CultureConvos: How Black & Abroad Is Redefining World Experiences

#CultureConvos: How Black & Abroad Is Redefining World Experiences

#CultureConvos: How Black & Abroad Is Redefining World Experiences

Photo by Jasmine Ancrum

In the last few years, black millennials have tapped into the transformational power of traveling.

Black & Abroad has been at the forefront of this push to help our community see more of the world.

Defined as “a cultural collective dedicated to redefining world experiences for the modern black traveler,” the jet-setters behind Black & Abroad encourages travel through digital content, curated trips, local events, merchandise and more.

We recently caught up with Kent and Eric, the founders of Black & Abroad and hosted a private talk with our Slack community.

In addition, here’s what they had to say about their brand and the importance of seeing the beauty that the world has to offer:

 

How did you land on “Explore” “Embrace” and “Empower” for your brand manifesto? And how has defining that helped your brand?

Eric: Explore the world. Embrace the cultures. Empower the community. These are the pillars that we thought would be the most supportive to the structure of our movement. Anyone can travel somewhere to take a picture. The question is, what kind of lasting impact are you leaving on the place you’re visiting, and how will your experience contribute to the B & A community at large?  

These ideals have helped to add dimension to our movement not only to appeal to avid travelers, but to encourage those that have yet to travel.

 

What impact does traveling have on Black culture?

Kent: I think traveling expands the definition of Black culture. There’s so much of the Black experience that you can’t encounter by staying still.  By getting out and seeing the world, you get to explore the other parts of your diaspora and truly get a sense of all of the tones and nuances of Blackness, because we are everywhere.

 

Can you share one of your favorite brand partnerships that Black & Abroad has done?

Eric: That’s a pretty hard question…so many great brands to choose from. If I have to choose though, I would say it’s a tie between two of our most recent partners—The AFROPUNK Fest & The Gathering Spot. Both of these partners trusted us with a blank canvas to curate & execute multiple events for their establishments. We created AFROPUNK’s pre-concert experiences for Paris, Brooklyn & Johannesburg, and hosted a monthly travel discussion for The Gathering Spot through the spring & summer of this year. That kind of trust is unheard of these days, so it was certainly an honor to work with these brands in such a capacity.

 

Where do you see Black & Abroad going in the next few years?

Kent: Without giving away our business plan (lol)… 

I see Black & Abroad redefining what travel looks like for Black millennials, and creating new paths to supporting Black businesses internationally.

Eric: I see Black & Abroad making a much greater impact on the culture that I could even forecast for the next few years. Expanding to levels beyond our own expectations, the same way in which we started. Only this time around, I see us bringing other hard-working international black businesses along for the ride.

 

What destinations are on your travel bucket list?

Kent: Bali, Indonesia/Antarctica/Bahia, Brazil

Eric: Socotra,Yemen / Cappadocia, Turkey / Kerala, India

 

What is one thing you learned about yourself through traveling?

Eric: I’ve learned that travel forces me to think in layers—to really challenge conventional ways of thinking to foster mental & spiritual evolution. I think we can all agree that conquering an obstacle outside of your comfort zone is beneficial for personal growth. Now imagine the exponential growth you’d experience by solving that same obstacle in a location thousands of miles away from home. These are challenges that I’ve learned to welcome on the eternal quest for wisdom.

Black & Abroad is so dope! Follow them on Instagram to join the movement! 

 

 

STAY PLUGGED IN

We’d love to connect with you. Here’s a few ways you can get down with the Intecoo team:

Join the Slack crew: Connect with other black and brown content creators from all over. Inside we’re sharing opportunities, tackling topics and supporting one another’s work.

Submit your content: We’re always open to new contributors that want to share some game with our community.

Stay plugged in with our email list: We’ll send you more content about dope campaigns, media trends, culture shifts, and new technology. We promise to only share gems whenever we pop into your inbox.

5 Gems We Can All Learn From Cardi B About Personal Branding

5 Gems We Can All Learn From Cardi B About Personal Branding

5 Gems We Can All Learn From Cardi B About Personal Branding

Photo: Complex Magazine / Natalia Mantini

Cardi REPRESENTS THE AMERICAN DREAM.

Since her  “bad b*tch” anthem – Bodak Yellow dropped last year, everything that she touches has turned to gold. Recently she’s expanded her brand, including partnering with Tom Ford on a lipstick color and launching a clothing line with Fashion Nova.

Let’s be honest – most of the former or current cast from Love and Hip Hop are not taken as seriously. Viewers know that the show is more entertainment than reality, and think the artists on the show aren’t worth listening to. But there was something about Cardi B that stood out and she’s been on the rise since leaving the show.

Her ability to be authentic to her brand has made Cardi a household name.

 

Your personal brand is everything from your demeanor to your career / business to your social media posts. It’s who you are on and offline.

 

Here’s 5 gems we can learn from Cardi B and her ratchet classic, Bodak Yellow, on personal branding:

1. Authenticity is major key

Hate her or love her, it’s undeniable that Cardi B is true to herself. She’s goofy, loud, in your face, honest and has no filter. She’s built her brand off of this authenticity – it’s apparent in her music, interviews, performances and social media posts. Cardi isn’t afraid to show her personality. In fact, she uses that to get ahead and doesn’t feel the need to assimilate to someone else’s culture or brand.

 

Your personal brand is supposed to be just that – PERSONAL. When building your brand, take some time to think about who you are and how people would describe you. Are you inspirational or encouraging? Are you blunt and always one to keep it real? After reflecting on who you are, make sure those characteristics line up whenever someone has an encounter with you.

 

Of course, if your brand is more on the conservative side you’ll want to be more buttoned up and professional, but that doesn’t mean you have to hide your personality. That’s what makes you shine the most.

 

2. Embrace your glow up

“People make it so negative, but stripping saved me from a lot of things.”

– Cardi B said during an interview with VLAD TV.

Cardi has no shame in her past because she knows that it helped get her to where she is now. She turned to stripping to escape an abusive boyfriend, then she used Love and Hip Hop as a platform to grow her brand. By owning her narrative, she turned anything negative that could be used against her into something positive.

When building your personal brand, leverage the highs and lows of your glow up – don’t try to hide who you are and where you come from. That’s what make you authentic – going back to gem #1.

3. Be catchy, not corny

There’s so many quotable lines in Bodak Yellow. You could tell that Cardi was (rightfully so) feeling herself with she wrote that song.

“Look, I don’t dance now / I make money moves”
“They see pictures, they say goals / B*tch, I’m who they tryna be”
“And I just checked my accounts / Turns out, I’m rich, I’m rich, I’m rich / I put my hand above my hip / I bet, you dip, he dip, she dip”

With lines that makes you sing along and a fire beat that sparked a Bodak Yellow challenge on social media, Cardi created a song that none of us can get out of our head (whether we’d like to or not). And unlike some of the other breakout artists from Love and Hip Hop, she wasn’t a cornball with it either.

 

Your personal brand has to break through the clutter and be memorable. Fill a need in your industry; write an opinion editorial that will really make people think. Whatever you do, make sure people catch on and take note. Just don’t be corny and try to mimic someone else’s brand.

 

4. Know your audience and fuel off the naysayers

The point of Bodak Yellow is to say that Cardi is poppin and her haters aren’t. She used their negativity to write a track that the NY Times dubbed as the rap anthem of the summer. Cardi is definitely an acquired taste – not everyone is going to identify with her realness but it’s clear that she isn’t trying to please everyone.

 

While everyone you encounter on and offline will see your personal brand, they all aren’t your target audience. Everyone will not like you (and your brand), but that’s more reason to hone in on who you’re trying to make a genuine connection with.

 

5. Work your ass off

“Dropped two mixtapes in six months / What b*tch working as hard as me?”

Cardi B’s brand wasn’t build in a day and neither will yours. It takes hard work and consistency to reach your personal branding goals – whether that be building your network, moving up the corporate ladder, launching a business or something else.

 

It should be clear that no matter who you are on the internet and in person, you’re working hard at whatever you’re doing and in turn, making money moves. Congrats to Cardi B for her much deserved success! She shows us that we can build an authentic brand without having to change who we are.

 

 

STAY PLUGGED IN

We’d love to connect with you. Here are a few ways you can get down with the Intecoo team:

Join the Slack crew: Connect with other black and brown content creators from all over. Inside we’re sharing opportunities, tackling topics and supporting one another’s work.

Submit your content: We’re always open to new contributors that want to share some game with our community.

Stay plugged in with our email list: We’ll send you more content about dope campaigns, media trends, culture shifts, and new technology. We promise to only share gems whenever we pop into your inbox.

#CultureConvos: How Lyft Is Swerving In The Entertainment Lane

#CultureConvos: How Lyft Is Swerving In The Entertainment Lane

#CultureConvos: How Lyft Is Swerving In The Entertainment Lane

Photo by Lyft

Over the last few years Lyft launched a few dope activations that creatively incorporates music and culture.

The brains behind many of these brilliant brand partnerships is Jessica Zhang, the manager of culture and entertainment at Lyft.

“The celebrities and these YouTube creators and Instagram stars were the new Hollywood, the new media channels that people were really engaged with and following,” Zhang said in an interview with Adweek.

“I saw an opportunity for a tech brand to tap into this talent to tell their brand stories. Instead of creating these disruptive 30-, 60-second commercials, why can’t we create the content that people want to watch?”

We’re showing some love to Zhang and the Lyft Entertainment team in our new monthly series #CultureConvos, which highlights brands moving culture forward and the multicultural marketers making the push.

Here’s a few of their activations that we love…

Chance The Rapper goes undercover with Lyft

Through “Undercover Lyft,” the company works with celebrities to pick up unsuspecting passengers, and one of the latest drivers was Chance The Rapper.

Lyft has dispatched other celebrities to go undercover, like Odell Beckham and Shaquille O’Neal, but the partnership with Chance was special because it had a bigger purpose. He collaborated with Lyft to tie in his charity, The New Chance Fund, and his nonprofit, SocialWorks, which serves his hometown. Aside from chatting about life and music with the riders, he talked about how they could support Chicago Public Schools by using the Round Up & Donate feature in the Lyft app.

When using rideshare apps, it’s common to have conversations about everything under the sun, so we loved how natural this partnership was and how it really made an impact on the Chicago community.

6lack partners with Lyft to debut new album

A lot of music is consumed in cars, so it was brilliant for Lyft to collaborate with 6lack for an intimate event to celebrate his new album, “East Atlanta Love Letter.”

Hosted at a drive-in movie theater, the listening experience gave fans a first glimpse of the album, and an opportunity to meet 6lack. Fans in surrounding neighborhoods could request a “6LACK Mode” Lyft, which gave them a free ride and entrance into the event. Three friends could tag along, and they all received brand swag like hats, T-shirts and other goodies.

It’s clear that 6lack takes pride in being from East Atlanta (Zone 6 stand up!), and this seamless partnership was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for his fans to really experience his music near his hometown.

Lyft opens a recording studio for their Atlanta drivers

Photo by The Hype Magazine

The draw that many Lyft drivers have to the work is that it’s flexible enough for them to pursue their passion. Over the summer, the company launched a recording studio inside their main Atlanta office, to give local drivers an outlet to create their art. They also had a launch party, and a few drivers performed with Yung Joc.

In an interview with the Atlanta Journal Constitution, the general manager of Lyft in the southeast hinted that this activation may expand to other cities.

We loved that this project really showed the importance of knowing your audience or stakeholders, and adding value to their lives (even if it doesn’t directly correlate to the business).

We’re excited to see what else Lyft does in entertainment!

Do you know of any dope brands that’s moving the culture forward that we can highlight in our #CultureConvos series? If so please send them our way!

STAY PLUGGED IN

We’d love to connect with you. Here’s a few ways you can get down with the Intecoo team:

Join the Slack crew: Connect with other black and brown content creators from all over. Inside we’re sharing opportunities, tackling topics and supporting one another’s work.

Submit your content: We’re always open to new contributors that want to share some game with our community.

Stay plugged in with our email list: We’ll send you more content about dope campaigns, media trends, culture shifts, and new technology. We promise to only share gems whenever we pop into your inbox.

What Beyonce’s Vogue Cover Means For Multicultural Creatives

What Beyonce’s Vogue Cover Means For Multicultural Creatives


Vogue

Photo by Tyler Mitchell for Vogue

“Until there is a mosaic of perspectives coming from different ethnicities behind the lens, we will continue to have a narrow approach and view of what the world actually looks like. That is why I wanted to work with this brilliant 23-year-old photographer Tyler Mitchell.” — Beyoncé, September 2018 issue of Vogue.

Beyonce made history (again) by hiring the first African-American photographer to shoot a Vogue cover in the magazine’s 126-year existence.  Atlanta native, Tyler Mitchell is one of the youngest photographers to be given the task. An A-list celebrity always graces the cover of the September issue, one of the most influential editorials of the year which dictates trends and attracts advertisers. Bey leveraged this iconic moment as an opportunity to put a young creative of color on to mainstream media. In the magazine she discussed her desire to open doors for talented young people just like legendary singers Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and others did for her when she first started her career. Queen Carter often uses her influence to give back to the Black community, as seen by her Formation Scholarship and other philanthropic efforts. However, her decision to have Mitchell capture this essential issue of Vogue moved the culture forward.

“There are so many cultural and societal barriers to entry that I like to do what I can to level the playing field, to present a different point of view for people who may feel like their voices don’t matter,” Bey says. “If people in powerful positions continue to hire and cast only people who look like them, sound like them, come from the same neighborhoods they grew up in, they will never have a greater understanding of experiences different from their own.”

Vogue

Photo by Tyler Mitchell of Vogue

No matter what size audience you have, it’s important for content creators to go beyond celebrating this historical moment. Let’s use it inspiration to pull other black and brown creatives up as we rise — just like Bey did for Tyler Mitchell. Here are a few ways you can do that:

Find Your Tribe

We’re focused on creating a culture of collaboration, so we started a community to connect with other black and brown creatives, share opportunities and resources, tackle pressing topics and support each other. Join our Slack group here to be down with our team! Also consider joining professional organizations in your area, like ColorComm and AdColor. Expand your network so you can meet other multicultural creatives that you can support.  

Show younger creatives the ropes

As you build your platform, put other people on. Tap your existing network to see if they know of young, energetic content creators who want to learn from and work with you. Leverage their creative ideas and hire them for projects to add fresh content to your brand and help them grow theirs.

Be the plug

Strategize ways to bring multicultural creatives in your network together. Consider hosting an event like a happy hour or brunch with a few dope people you know — have them bring a guest so you all can connect. Pour into others like Bey did with Tyler, and we guarantee you’ll get some blessings in return.