Tag Archives: Hashtag

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?


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TOMS Gets Shady

TOMS Gets Shady

TOMS is famous for their do good approach to business. With every pair of TOMS shoes purchased, TOMS donates a pair of shoes to a child in need across the globe. The company has given out over 10 million pairs of shoes since 2006. But TOMS hasn’t stopped there..

On October 10th, TOMS launched a campaign for World Sight Day. They produced a limited pair of TOMS branded sunglasses, and for each pair purchased, TOMS would provide eye-care to a person in need. This could be through providing prescription glasses, medical treatment and even sight-saving surgery! TOMS challenged people to show their support and raise awareness for the visually impaired by “Being Shady”. People were encouraged to wear their shades in an unusual setting (e.g. in the mall, at the gym) and then share their photo via social media using the hashtag #BeShady.

I love the TOMS brand and their business model. I think they effectively use unique guerrilla marketing techniques, such as this campaign, and the “A Day Without Shoes” campaign to engage consumers. However, many people criticize that its “raising awareness” campaigns are merely just marketing ploys to raise the awareness of TOMS, and the “Buy one Get one” model actually fails to give people what they really need.

Have you ever purchased a pair of TOMS shoes? Was the “Buy One Get One” model one of the deciding factors of your purchase?

Would you participate in the #BeShady campaign on social media?


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McDStories turns into a McDistaster


People either have a love or hate relationship with McDonalds. Although they possess many customers who are brand advocates, they also have many haters.

This became apparent in their twitter campaign, where they launched the hashtag #McDStories with promoted tweets, hoping that their brand advocates would write in, expressing their feel good stories about McDonalds.

This was a risky move for McDonalds. They have already taken a lot of heat from the myths about their quality of their food, and the Twitter campaign just escalated it. People began using the hashtag as a medium for their McDonald horror stories:


The campaign was quickly pulled once they saw the responses. According to Rick Wion, McDonalds social media director, there were 72,788 mentions of McDonald’s overall that day so the traction of #McDStories was a tiny percentage (2%) of that. However, due to the nature of crowd sourced content, it never fully disappeared. The hashtag #McDStories still lives on twitter today.

Personally, I do not eat much at McDonalds. But when I do, I know what to expect – greasy, fattening, poor quality food. What do you expect when your whole meal comes out to less than $3.99? Yes, I believe that the idea behind the Twitter campaign was poorly chosen, and the McDonalds bashing to this extreme could have been easily avoided. But this does not drive me to choose another fast food, say Wendy’s or Burger King, over McDonalds instead. I believe if any fast food place were to launch a similar campaign, their results would be the same.

For the McDonalds lovers – Does seeing these tweets make you less likely to grab your next lunch at McDonalds?

Are your #McDStories heart filled or horror filled?


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