The One Club for Creativity expands its commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in advertising and marketing with the launch of ONE Production: Food Styling, an initiative sponsored by Popeyes®, to encourage ethnic diversity in production.
The pilot program kicks off this fall as a free 10-week online training course for BIPOC students teaching them how to style food for print and video shoots. The program is designed to inform students of the career opportunities available in food styling, and provide them with the skills to pursue on-set apprenticeships and jobs in the field.
“Food styling is near and dear to our heart and an important part of how we market to our guests, but it’s an industry that has been dominated by faces that are not as diverse as they should be,” said Ryan Robertson, Global Head of Marketing, Popeyes. “We’re excited to work with The One Club to develop talent and help bring more diverse perspectives to not only our work, but also to the entire field.”
The program aligns with Popeyes’ commitment to change, which was recently published in their Popeyes US D&I in Marketing Scorecard as a way to be transparent and accountable. This commitment focuses on six mandates to further the goal of having more diverse talent in every aspect of its marketing ecosystem. Food styling was identified as one of the fields where they could have a positive impact.
ONE Production is headed by Warren Ottey, an accomplished food stylist, culinary producer and chef based in Brooklyn. For more than a decade, Ottey has marked his place in the culinary world, working closely with leading brands in the food and beverage industry and bringing his energetic personality and eye for design and detail to client work.
“ONE Production: Food Styling will help to create a bridge that so many have been unable to cross, or even access,” said Ottey. “This program is so special not only because creativity in food is amazing, but also because these well-known organizations are taking an interest in opening up opportunities to people who otherwise may never get them.”
Along with Ottey, tutors who will provide one-on-one training include experienced food stylists such as Joanna Holbek and others.
Ottey and tutors will teach students the basics of food styling, as well as offer practical, hands-on lessons on the techniques they need to master. The course will cover a specific topic each week, including how to sort ingredients to create an enhanced finished product, maintain a fresh look, use camera angles and lighting, build a photo-ready burger, compose plated dishes, and more.
Popeyes and its affiliated brands, in collaboration with its agency partners, plan to review program graduates’ completed portfolios and look for potential opportunities to provide graduates with hands-on experiences to style for the Popeyes®, Burger King®, and Tim Hortons® brands.
Equally important, the course will include a session by “Q” Qadree Holmes, founder and executive producer at Quriosity, a minority-owned, diversity boutique in Chicago specializing in video production, post-production and photography, on navigating the challenges and opportunities for BIPOC talent in the predominantly white field of ad production.
Applications are being accepted through September 19, 2021. The 10 students selected for the pilot program will be notified shortly after, with classes starting October 6. Applicants must be aged 18 or over, have basic culinary skills, be willing to commit to the hours and work required, and be authorized to work in the US and Canada to participate in any post-graduation opportunities.
The One Club has a long track record of creating programs that help address the ad industry’s lack of diversity. The global nonprofit organization was one of the first in the industry to step forward with a program to specifically address the diversity pipeline for creatives with last year’s launch of ONE School, a first-of-its-kind, free portfolio school for Black creatives.
“ONE School was developed for the creative side of the industry, ONE Production: Food Styling is the first in a series of programs dedicated to addressing diversity on the production side,” said Bob Isherwood, head of The One Club’s Creative Development department. “This new program will inform BIPOC students of the possibilities and career opportunities in food styling, hopefully leading to apprenticeships.”
Other DEI initiatives from The One Club include more than a decade of annual Where Are All The Black People diversity conferences and career fairs, global Creative Boot Camps and mentorship programs for diverse college students, the WE ARE ONE poster design initiative rallying creatives to take a collective stand against racism and intolerance, the COLORFUL global grant program to help young BIPOC creatives advance their careers, the Paid Internship Pledge to help aspiring BIPOC creatives get a foot in the door at agencies, and introduction of The One Show Fusion Pencil and ADC 100th Annual Awards Fusion Cube, the industry’s first global awards to recognize great work that best incorporates DEI principles in both creative content and the team that made it.