Monthly Archives: November 2013

Turn Your Social Network into a Water Network

What was the last thing you spent $5 on? I’ll tell you mine – a coffee and a muffin from Williams. What if I told you that with just $5, UNICEF can give a child safe drinking water for 200 days. Crazy right? Such a small donation can provide so much. Clean water is such a commodity here that it is taken for granted, yet is not available for over 800 million people around the world. Really makes you put things into perspective.

The UNICEF Tap Project was developed early this year to address this issue. The campaign initially started in restaurants, where diners were asked to donate $1 for consuming the tap water which they normally get for free. This year, the campaign went social. Hosted on Facebook, the networks users are displayed as “taps” and their connections are “pipes”. By donating $5, the user can select two friends to release virtual water to. As the user grows the water network through the app, they are able to witness the impact of their donation as their web of connections carry water from friend to friend.

The app was further promoted with the help of YouTube and Twitter (#TapProject). Since 2007, the UNICEF Tap Project has raised more than $3.5 million for water and sanitation programs benefiting children in third world countries.

This is an excellent example of how the use of marketing and social networks can be utilized to make the world a better place. Leveraging the campaign on social media increases the reach and sharability of the cause. The instant gratification and use of gamification of the application makes it exciting for the user to see the impact they are making through their donation. The campaign even received support from big name celebrities such as Heidi Klum, Seth Rogen, Emmy Rossum, Kristen Bell, to name a few!

Do you believe that Facebook is the right platform to conduct fundraising on? The demographics of social media users tend to be a younger audience, who may not have the money to donate to charities. I know that I often have to pick and choose which charities I donate to. As much as I wish I could donate to all charities, as a “starving student” I have my own expenses, like my tuition fees, that I have to prioritize. Would other channels, such as events and direct mail be more effective in reaching the right audience?

Does this campaign make you reconsider your next $5 purchase?

Thoughts?

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Two-Time Taylor Trouble

Two-Time Taylor Trouble

As I’ve mentioned before in the Durex Condom Emergency campaign, contests that allow user generated content are very risky to run. This is also evident with a contest by America’s sweetheart, Taylor Swift. An online contest was held to send Taylor Swift to perform at the school in the US that received the most votes on 4Chan and Reddit. This strategy failed when the school that received the most votes was the Horace Mann School for the Deaf. The school was then removed from the contest due to the cruel prank, but was awarded $50,000 as a consolation prize, and all students were given tickets to her next show.
Poor Taylor’s bad luck didn’t end there. She held another contest earlier this year through a local Boston radio station, where the winner would get a chance meet the singer in person. This contest was hijacked when a 39-year-old man used the help of the 4Chan community to get him the most votes.
Here is one of the creepy posts:

The contest was then terminated as the radio station claimed the contest had been compromised.

Neither situation ended well for Taylor. I do think that Taylor handled the first contest well with the hefty donation to the school and free concert tickets. She did not bow down to the internet prank and resolved the situation in a respectful way. However, I’m not sure I agree with the way they handled the meet and greet. I don’t blame Taylor for not wanting to meet this guy in person (I wouldn’t want to either) but was it really necessary to terminate the whole contest? Why not just award the prize to the runner up who abides to the contest rules?

Do you think Taylor handled these situations well?
Thoughts?

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Google more than just a search engine

Google India released a online advertisement that has you reaching for a tissue. The 3-minute mini-movie tugs at viewers heartstrings by telling a tale of two elderly men, one in India and one in Pakistan, who had been childhood best friends. Separated by the partition of the two countries, the men had been out of touch for 66 years. With the help of the India-based mans granddaughter, and of course Google search, the two men are brought back together for an emotional reunion.

The video went viral on social media in the two countries with over 2.5 million views, receiving comments like:

“Google brought nations together in 3 minutes 32 seconds. The politicians of both countries couldn’t do this in 66 years,”

and

“Wonderful campaign highlighting all the similarities and shared experiences instead of the differences,”

The campaign was developed with hopes to further push its products in India, such as Google Chrome, Google Search, and Google Maps – on both desktop and mobile.

I find that emotional advertisements are very effective in catching my attention and are usually the ones that resonate with me the most. I almost forgot that it was an advertisement for Google because the story line had me captivated. It definitely shows people how effective Google can be in doing pretty much anything you want.

Did the advertisement trigger an emotional response out of you, or do you find the story line a little too far fetched?

Do you think this was a risky move for Google to advertise on the sensitive topic of the India-Pakistan history?

Thoughts?

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