Brand Implications

This year’s celebration of African American and other American minorities in entertainment, culture, and sports provided many opportunities for brands to support excellence in these communities across a variety of genres. Highlighting engagement with social causes and support for organizations and institutions was a key message used by many brands to achieve this goal. Awards like the “Shine a Light Award” sponsored by Walmart and initiatives like Hennessey’s “Never Stop Never Settle Society” were at the forefront of connecting brands to consumers in a way that empowered real change while also allowing these brands to form real connections with their core consumer bases. In an effort to grow ratings and meet audiences where they are, this year’s awards were not only available on linear TV but on numerous streaming platforms allowing for more viewers to find this impactful content.

BEN Takeaways


The BET Awards always strive to be fun, with a mix of performers from various decades and genres. This year, there were many performances that showed the bridge between old and new as performers across generations paired to great effect. From Jack Harlow and Brandy (ignited by a Twitter feud), Latto and Mariah Carey, to Babyface and Ella Mai, the awards were packed with such performances. This practice without a doubt allows the awards to capture two demographics at once. Babyface and a masked-up Kanye West also gave P. Diddy his lifetime achievement award, showing the impact he has had over multiple generations.


Along with the numerous brand-sponsored award categories, the BET Awards had what seemed like a record amount of brand involvement with initiatives benefitting the Black community. Brands like Hennessey, McDonalds, P&G, and Walmart all advertised segments within the show to benefit various social issues. From Black creators, to financial literacy within the black community, to supporting the Crown Act, brands came through with message-driven integrations. This has always been an option at award shows, but the BET Awards set a new precedence when it comes to the scale of integrations and how they can benefit a community.


This year’s BET Awards moved into the modern age. The ceremony was available to stream via Hulu, Sling, Philo. DirecTV Live, and YouTube TV. The BET red carpet show also streamed live on Twitter. In order to capture a new audience, the show was made accessible to the majority of audiences without cable. 


Lizzo pledged $1 million to Planned Parenthood after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.  

Sean “Diddy” Combs vowed to donate $1 million to both HBCU’s Jackson State University and Howard University.