As part of the 90th anniversary celebration, the Houston Defender Network joined forces with Richards/Carlberg and Comcast Houston to launch a powerful message of the importance of voting in the current election.   The “Vote Like Your Life Depends On It, Because it Does” campaign encouraged people of color to exercise their vote either during early voting or on the general election date Tuesday, Nov. 3. 

The Defender Network, Houston’s Leading Black Information Source for almost a century, is focusing on what’s really important –voting in this election in order to not forfeit civil rights gained over the last decades.   

When Defender CEO Sonny Messiah Jiles turned to Houston advertising agency Richards/Carlberg to help create the print and television PSAs pro-bono they stepped up producing the campaign in a record four days to leverage the election timeframe. 

The Richards/Carlberg creative team spearheaded by Gayle and Chuck Carlberg and lead by Josh Powers assembled a crew of top-notch professionals: Danny Reeves, Wire Road Studio (audio recording/engineering); Beau Williams, Grammy-nominated Gospel Singer (vocals); Billy Dorsey Jr, thebridgelife (audio producer) and Justin Gray, Bill Young Productions (video editing/animation).  

The PSA background music is the Black National Anthem, “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”  The headline typeface, “Bayard,” was created/designed by a Black-owned type company called Vocal Type Co., whose fonts are inspired by the Civil Rights movement.  This particular font is named after Bayard Rustin, the civil rights pioneer.  

To design and produce the PSA was important but getting the message to voters was made possible by Ray Purser, Comcast Houston Vice President of External Affairs.

“The importance of this campaign is invaluable and cannot be measured.  Despite the time constraints, this joint effort of Richards/Carlberg, Comcast Houston and all the other partners to create a message that captures the importance of voting and how our lives depend on us taking action is monumental,” stated Defender CEO Sonny Messiah Jiles.