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Advertising Week and Hartbeat Partner for AWAfrica!

Advertising Week, the world’s largest annual gathering of marketing, media and technology leaders, and Hartbeat, the global media company creating entertainment at the intersection of comedy and culture, announces the companies have partnered for a programming track at AWAfrica curated by Hartbeat. As part of Hartbeat’s new “Branding with Hart” thought leadership series that will make its debut during AWAfrica, global entertainer, entrepreneur and Hartbeat founder Kevin Hart will keynote a session sharing his core principles for working with advertisers and how companies can build purpose-driven brands that breakthrough with storytelling harnessing humour and heart.

“Branding with Hart” will feature a series of conversations with key industry icons, influential marketers and tastemakers on the state of entertainment, diversity and storytelling across the African diaspora, and why brands need to lean in with greater urgency to be relevant, available, and inspiring.

As part of the programming, Hartbeat CEO Thai Randolph will host a live taping of her “The Color of Commerce” podcast, launched in partnership with Advertising Week and featuring a special guest with ties to the region to discuss how consumers across the African diaspora impact culture and commerce. Each week on the podcast, Thai invites industry experts – from marketers, economists, storytellers, entrepreneurs, creatives, technologists, innovators and business leaders – to the show for in-depth conversations filled with insights, and anecdotes, that help executives embrace this new economic evolution that is connected, creative and…in Color.

Hartbeat’s Chief Content Officer Bryan Smiley, Chief Distribution Officer Jeff Clanagan, and leaders from its branded content division PULSE – which serves as a creative and cultural consultancy to brands such as Sam’s Club, Lyft, P&G, Chase Sapphire, Samsung, and more – will also host thought leadership sessions and facilitate conversations between creators, brands, and marketers. Sessions will cover topics including how brands can find their sense of humour, paths to content distribution across mediums, how to successfully activate brand experiences on a local and global level, and more.

AWA2023 offers the opportunity to connect the global business and creative community to Africa and contextualize Africa’s influence on a global market. We are unlocking opportunities for Africa’s talent across, above, and below. We are looking forward to hosting AW’s global community, learning and collaborating with the view to scale and amplify Africa’s influence globally

– Trevor Ndhlovu, President (Africa), Advertising Week

The Hartbeat and Advertising Week collaboration in Johannesburg marks an expanded partnership between the two organizations that will continue to grow globally with entertainment, compelling content, and thought leadership experiences. Most recently, Hartbeat teamed with Advertising Week New York for AWAccelerate, where Hartbeat helped curate conversations to provide education and acceleration to female-founded, and Black-owned businesses.


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