Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign: Viral Success or Much Ado About Nothing
Editor’s Note: This post was originally a comment to Nikki’s wonderful post here, but since it was a bit off-topic, I thought I’d pull it out and give it a string of its own, in case anyone cared to chime in.)
Regarding the bra brouhaha, though: I’m reminded of the comment I made at the time. Quoting from memory, “From a pure awareness standpoint, the bra-color status updates on FB are a stroke of genius.”
If I recall correctly (I may not), this was during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Emphasis: awareness. Not all campaigns are designed to secure responses to calls to action. Some are mere awareness-building campaigns. How many times did you see people on FB or Twitter openly question, “Why are people posting what kinda bra they’re wearing?” In that sense, I think what spread viral-ly was a smashing success. If you can get people to ask the question, seek the answer, and have the conversation…mission accomplished (for now).
While I’m not one to think red lapel ribbons are going to cure AIDS and the like, I do think there is a place for modest campaigns designed for nothing else than to build buzz. There is another time and another place for results-focused marketing, but if every outreach is a plea to the purse strings, you will turn people off…even if the cause is a noble one.
I’m not naive enough to think that people updating re: undergarments significantly moved the fundraising needle that month, but it did draw attention to the cause. By its viral nature, it demonstrated a community movement—strength in numbers—to which others might want to join. In showed how widely reaching support for this cause is, and how the tragedy cancer inflicts touches at least one person everyone knows. That might not be enough to get people donating, but it was at least enough to get them thinking.
Then, when the moment is right, that audience will be better positioned to hear your passionate plea for financial support