PBS – Black Panthers

The Black Panthers: Vanguard Of The Revolution is the first feature length documentary to explore the Black Panther Party, its significance to the broader American culture, its cultural and political awakening for black people, and the painful lessons wrought when a movement derails.

It scored a 1.2 overnight Nielsen rating, one of the highest for a documentary film in recent PBS history and became the most tweeted about PBS program, overcoming Downton Abbey’s #1 twitter record. It also attracted our most youngest and diverse audience to date.

As a senior interactive art director, I worked closely with producer, Karla Jones, and creative agency, Sawyer Studios, to develop the digital marketing for the campaign. I also worked with creative director, David Wilder, to conform the theatrical spot to the PBS brand package.

The key art, developed by Sawyer Studios, was provided to us from Independent Lens.


I then art directed the HTML5 digital advertising from concept to finished product. Many times it takes an eye for animation and an expert understanding of interactive to translate a print ad into an animated digital banner. Sawyer Studios did an outstanding job of interpreting my notes and creating creating a great campaign.

Click on an ad to play the animation.

I also had the opportunity to create social media skins for the campaign. To keep to the budget, I designed these out myself.


For the broadcast spot redesign, under the creative direction of David Wilder, I put together a storyboard that incorporated elements of both the original spot with the PBS brand elements. These elements included logos, colors, fonts, and tune-in layouts.


Here is the final 30 second spot.