How Atlanta agency Six Degrees is making advertising more inclusive

Agency founded by Morehouse alums has big name client roster
Brian Wright, co-founder of Six Degrees, poses at an event the creative agency produced for the NFL in 2023. Courtesy of Six Degrees

Credit: Courtesy of Six Degrees

Credit: Courtesy of Six Degrees

Brian Wright, co-founder of Six Degrees, poses at an event the creative agency produced for the NFL in 2023. Courtesy of Six Degrees

When Big Boi launched a limited-edition Budweiser can in 2019, the Atlanta-based agency Six Degrees worked with the Outkast rap icon and American beer brand to create a gas station pop-up to promote the product.

Complete with gas pumps that featured Atlanta area codes instead of prices, and a convenience store that only sold merch and Budweiser, the exhibit turned the otherwise mundane activity of purchasing beer at a gas station into a photo-worthy event.

The Big Boi Budweiser cans are available only in Georgia. Courtesy

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A similar campaign was created for star rappers Drake and Future, when the agency launched a “Hotlanta” pop-up restaurant — located inside the Mrs. Winner’s at 4350 Fulton Industrial Blvd. SW — based off the faux fast-food chain from the pair’s “Life is Good” music video.

And when Lil Baby later partnered with Foot Locker to revamp an Oakland City basketball court, Six Degrees was the creative agency behind the initiative.

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When the creative agency Six Degrees was founded six years ago by Morehouse graduates Brian “Bwrightous” Wright and Desmond Attmore, Six Degrees was inspired by the adage that we’re all separated from one another by six or fewer relationships. Since its founding, the marketing agency has used their network to create culturally relevant campaigns for a number of brands.

As Morehouse students, the two men built used their robust HBCU network, then used it to launch a clothing brand and promote musicians who were visiting the AUC. They carried this experience into the marketing industry, with Wright interning at Atlantic Records and both men working for producer Mike Will Made It’s EarDrummers Records. At the latter, Attmore and Wright managed and marketed artists such as rap collective Two-9 and “Black Beatles” duo Rae Sremmurd.

Since its founding, Six Degrees has used their network to create culturally relevant campaigns for a number of brands. When Big Boi launched a limited edition can of Budweiser, Six Degrees worked with the rap icon and beer brand to create a gas station pop-up activation to promote the product.

They did a similar campaign for Drake and Future, launching a “Hotlanta” pop-up restaurant based off the faux fast-food chain from the pair’s “Life is Good” music video. When Lil Baby partnered with Footlocker to revamp an Oakland City basketball court, Six Degrees was the creative agency behind the initiative.

In addition to these in-person activations, the company has also worked on album packaging and designs for popular recording acts such as Doja Cat, Playboi Carti and Jack Harlow.

Today, the company has grown from its two founders to roughly 40 employees who are based in Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles. Attmore left the company earlier this year, but Wright continues to work in his capacity as a founder and head of marketing.

Brian "BWrighteous" Wright of Atlanta agency Six Degrees poses during an activation with fashion brand Lanvin. Courtesy of Six Degrees

Credit: Courtesy of Six Degrees

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Credit: Courtesy of Six Degrees

Six Degrees rose to prominence in 2020, at a time when brands were intentionally focusing on diversity initiatives in 2020. And, even as critics question the lasting impact of those DEI promises, Wright says they’ve still been able to work with brands who are prioritizing campaigns centering inclusivity.

“Without a doubt, we are a Black agency, but we also do really great work,” he says.

Wright isn’t alone in his opinion. When Inc. released their list of companies “making an outsized impact in the Southeast” earlier this year, the Atlanta-based creative agency ranked No. 6.

The following is a Q&A with Wright, — which has been condensed and edited for clarity, — about the history and future of the creative agency.

Q: Do you remember what made you want to use your college and EarDrummers experience to start a creative agency?

A: It wasn’t one thing. I think we looked at everything we were involved in, whether it was fashion marketing, music marketing, marketing for shows, partnerships, creating content … We were like well, we kind of do all of these things already. Let’s make it official and underneath one umbrella.

Q: Who was the first client you all worked with as a company?

A: Hendrick’s Gin. That was actually through [the creative agency] Team Epiphany. We worked with them for two years, creating a strategy and artists series. It was extremely successful.

Q: The company’s name comes from the “six degrees of separation” notion and I know going to an HBCU and being in Atlanta in general, there is so much synergy in the different industries within the Black community that has probably helped y’all to make connections.

A: I would say that’s a large percentage of why Six Degrees is so successful and the support that we receive. A large amount of our staff went to an HBCU or has someone in their family [who attended one]. When you think about earlier in our careers, a lot of the chances people took on us [as] a small Black agency, those definitely came from our direct network of people we went to school with.

To be honest, we haven’t really pitched for business. This has been the first year, honestly. We’re a product of doing really good work and having meaningful connections with people.

Q: This is the first year where y’all are intentionally going after clients and contacting brands you have a desire to work with?

A: Yeah, this is the year where I’m like let’s have a meeting with the Braves. Let’s have a meeting with Home Depot. Not to say we weren’t intentional before, we were doing really great business and working on these really great projects and letting it speak for itself.

Q: In what ways are y’all structured like a traditional agency and in what ways are you different?

A: We don’t come from traditional advertising. I didn’t really know too much about it outside of the internship I had with Team Epiphany. Our mindset and our approach is different.

Yes, we are business-to-business and we do service other brands, but we’re very much community-based. We want to educate the people on what an agency is. Our biggest thing is we know your audience because we are your audience.

Q: Can you explain what you mean when you say you try to be community based?

A: We give our community and our fan base a peek into how our agency runs. We’re very heavily [involved] — because of our HBCU background — in educating students on what agencies do, and where they could see themselves working in an agency, and working with different brands. It’s just so cool just to give that exposure to younger students.

Q: How much of your company’s work is still based in Atlanta?

A: We work a lot with The Falcons. I would love to do something with the Braves. We’ve worked a lot with Atlanta United. We’ve worked with Home Depot [and] Sprite. We do a lot with local small businesses, as well. We love that. That’s what we pride ourselves in. Let’s go and give these same high-level services that we give to these bigger brands to small businesses.

Q: How are you able to do that from a business perspective when working with small businesses that don’t have the same budget as, say, Sprite?

A: We make it make sense. A lot of the energy we get from Six Degrees is community-based so we always have to pour back into the community.

Q: What type of projects are y’all looking to court moving forward?

A: I’m really looking to things that we just naturally enjoy. That’s a very broad statement, but things we use every day. Things that inspire us. From a local business standpoint, I love partnering with a restaurant. A sneaker store.