For Immediate Release
June 06, 2024
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Media Contact:
Shawn Smith

Sherelyn Weber


New Animated Short Film Designed to Shift the Narrative Celebrates Black Dads

(Black PR Wire) CHICAGO – Walmart, in collaboration with Contender, a culture-forward advertising agency that specializes in connecting brands to multicultural audiences in meaningful ways, released its new multimedia ad for the Black and Unlimited initiative. Kicking off the campaign, the animated short film entitled “Answering The Call” was released today.

Developed in partnership with award-winning Black-owned animation studio Martian Blueberry, the creative short-form content features a group of modern-day fathers known as "The League of Black and Unlimited Dads.” These heroic men take us on an adventurous journey through parenthood, while emphasizing the importance of nurturing the physical, mental, spiritual and financial well-being of their children.

The campaign, which includes a five-minute short, supported by :15 and :30-second trailers, was created in collaboration with Martian Blueberry animator and co-founder Carl Jones, who is also a producer of “The Boondocks” and “Young Love,” an animated series based on the Oscar-winning short “Hair Love.” Dee Charlemagne, Director of Cultural Strategy at Walmart, said “In culture and the media, positive stories about Black fathers need to be told. Through animation, the film taps into those everyday moments when dads show up and shape the lives of the next generation – that is a superpower. At Walmart, we see dads show up every day as superheroes and are honored to play a role in special moments – everything from that first haircut to gifts for dads on their special day.”

Robert Clifton Jr., co-founder and chief creative officer of Contender, said “We take great pride in delivering impactful content that highlights the vital role of Black fathers in their children's lives. As a Black father myself, I understand the significance of positive representation. We’ve created breakthrough content that will further expand Walmart’s Black and Unlimited platform, while leveraging the brand's reach and scale to continue to shift the narrative around Black fatherhood. I feel incredibly grateful to be able to tell stories about the unheralded Black men who do an amazing job in their role as fathers every day.”

This year’s campaign builds off the foundation and momentum that was set with Walmart’s 2023 Fatherhood Series which utilized real stories to reshape the narrative around Black fathers in the media. “Answering The Call” continues the storytelling, by highlighting four dads, each one with their own special parenting style “superpower” that they use to show up as real-life heroes in their kids’ lives.

The campaign also includes influencers who will showcase their parenting styles and a contest that gives filmmakers an opportunity to create stories about Black dads. The winning short films will premiere at the American Black Film Festival in Miami Beach on June 15. Following the screening, Carl Jones will be joined by actors Lance Gross and Devale Ellis to discuss their unique approaches to fatherhood and how it positively impacts their children’s lives.

The campaign, which launches today and runs through Father's Day, is another example of Walmart’s collaboration with Black-owned creative partners, Contender, co-founded by Robert Clifton, Jr. and Kristian May Stewart, Ph.D., Martian Blueberry, co-founded by Carl Jones and Love Jones, and Nice Crowd, producers of the American Black Film Festival co-founded by Jeff and Nicole Friday. Together, they are excited to recognize and highlight the Black fatherhood experience.

The campaign launches today and content will be shared on Walmart’s Black and Unlimited website through Father’s Day and beyond.

About Contender

Contender Labs, LLC is a Black-owned advertising agency specializing in leveraging the power of data and the influence of culture to help clients reach, connect to, convert and retain, the multiculturally-led new mainstream driving growth in today’s marketplace. To learn more about Contender, please visit

About Walmart’s Black & Unlimited

Walmart's Black & Unlimited celebrates the diverse and dynamic interests of today's Black community. Our mission is to supercharge future-focused creators, influencers and changemakers. Walmart is committed to supporting these communities with its scale and impact to fuel the limitless potential of Black excellence.

About Walmart

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) is a people-led, tech-powered omnichannel retailer helping people save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in stores, online, and through their mobile devices. Each week, approximately 255 million customers and members visit more than 10,500 stores and numerous eCommerce websites in 19 countries. With fiscal year 2024 revenue of $648 billion, Walmart employs approximately 2.1 million associates worldwide.

Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting, on Facebook at, on X (formerly known as Twitter) at, and on LinkedIn at