Marketing Makeover Show Co-starring NBA All-Star Baron Davis and Marketing Expert Amanda Brinkman Celebrates Six Black-owned Businesses in Minneapolis/St. Paul


Austin, TX ( May 23, 2022) Austin-based creative studio, Flow Studios, has earned its second consecutive Daytime Emmy Award nomination in the Outstanding Lifestyle Series category for Small Business Revolution. A brand-funded series from business technologies company Deluxe (DLX), Small Business Revolution, which aired for six seasons on HULU, is the streaming provider’s only series to be nominated for a Daytime Emmy.

After five years helping small towns around the country revitalize their Main Streets, the Small Business Revolution brought its signature makeovers to Deluxe's hometown Minneapolis/St. Paul, helping six dynamic businesses take their storefronts, tech, and business development to the next level. From the 87-years-running daily newspaper – just four blocks from George Floyd Square, to the barbershop whose Modern Gentlemen's Code of Ethics inspires customers to be a force for good, SBR's final season is a brave, entertaining, and poignant celebration of the fastest-growing market segment in America.

Writer/Director Matt Naylor and Composer/Executive Producer David Rice, co-founders of Flow Studios, share the nomination with Deluxe and Co-Host/Executive Producer Amanda Brinkman. Flow has worked on the series from its inception in 2015, created by Brinkman as a vehicle to showcase the company's suite of small business services.

Naylor directed season six on location with a Minneapolis film crew led by Free Black Dirt’s Erin Sharkey. The soundtrack includes cuts from twin cities hip-hop artists, and a remix of Rice’s main title theme by MMYYKK.

Flow’s empathetic storytelling and artful, nuanced approach to brand integrations make it the first of its kind to earn an Emmy nomination, competing alongside network-funded mainstream hits like Sparking Joy with Marie Kondo.

“Historically, there’s been a stigma that if a brand was funding content, it couldn’t compete in the actual entertainment arena,” says Amanda Brinkman, Co-host and Executive Producer, Small Business Revolution. “The creative team at Flow has found the perfect way to integrate a brand as a genuine character in the narrative - not as the hero, but a force for empowerment. It’s a brand storytelling dream come true, making a show people choose to watch, rather than settling for making the ads that interrupt it.”

Among marketing professionals, the case study is powerful proof of authentic storytelling’s measurable returns. Inc. Magazine ranked it among the top shows for entrepreneurs, DLX stock price rose after CNBC name-checked the show and issued a “buy” rating, and the campaign has accumulated over 13 billion impressions, 6,000+ earned media articles, and more than 20 million measured views.

“When you’ve got an authentic and layered story, relatable characters, and a hero to cheer for, the audience doesn’t care who’s paying for it. It’s a breakthrough model we expect other marketers to follow,” says David Rice, Co-founder, Flow Studios.

“We’re honored by the recognition - not just for Flow, Amanda, and Deluxe, but for the entrepreneurs at the heart of the series," says Matt Naylor, Co-founder, Flow Studios. “I think the nomination is also pretty solid proof that you can find non-traditional ways to fund powerful storytelling."

The 49th Daytime Emmy Awards will be held on June 24, 2022 in Los Angeles, CA.


Flow Studios (previously Flow Nonfiction) has been helping progressive consumer brands and nonprofits lead audiences to action since 2009. The company got its start in the cause marketing space when Procter & Gamble tapped them to produce short-form documentaries around its signature disaster relief program, Tide Loads of Hope. They’ve won numerous industry awards, including two Gold Halos and a Clio Award for their MSNBC/Netflix veterans issues docu-series Wounded: The Battle Back Home. Flow’s Austin clients include St. David’s Foundation, for whom they produced a 13-part Livestream series in 2021. In addition to TV and short-form video, the company works extensively in photography and web development, composes original scores for all its TV and video projects, and is creator of the live music series Clubhouse: Music up Close, filmed in their onsite recording studio.

Amanda Brinkman is a producer, filmmaker, branding expert, and sought-after public speaker. Sharing her “Do Well By Doing Good” message on stages around the country, she challenges companies to go beyond identifying their brand purpose by putting that purpose into action. Amanda’s work has set the standard for brand storytelling, proving brands can act as publishers and create social movements with their content strategy.

Deluxe, a Trusted Payments and Business Technology™ company, champions business so communities thrive. Their solutions help businesses pay and get paid, accelerate growth and operate more efficiently. For more than 100 years, Deluxe customers have relied on our solutions and platforms at all stages of their lifecycle, from start-up to maturity. Their powerful scale supports millions of small businesses, thousands of vital financial institutions, and hundreds of the world’s largest consumer brands, while processing approximately $3 trillion in annual payment volume. Their reach, scale and distribution channels position Deluxe to be customers’ most trusted business partner.