Date Posted: 10/11/16

In challenge is opportunity

Social marketing campaigns often deal with very sensitive issues and when you put sensitive things in front of the public, almost always some people are going to get offended. Quite often, the reluctance to offend leads advertisers to creating boring and ineffective work, but sometimes it actually has the opposite effect and inspires ground-breaking ideas. Dumb ways to Die is one of the classic case studies to demonstrate this point and it’s easily one of my favourite social marketing campaigns ever. Another more recent example is the Manboobs campaign, which won Gold at Cannes 2016.

Nothing beats an interesting demonstration

The client’s objective was to use social media as a channel to educate women on how to conduct a breast cancer self-examination. The problem was, you’re not actually allowed to show breasts on Facebook and Instagram, even when it’s for a legitimate reason. Genius solution: have a woman borrow a pair of male breasts to demonstrate how to do the examination. The highly entertaining and very clear demonstration video had 700k shares and got news coverage around the world. It has actually been acknowledged as the most watched breast cancer examination video ever produced.

What do I take away from this?

When working on any brief, there is almost always the opportunity to turn a weakness into a strength. And, even if you’ve got the most serious of issues to deal with, never discount the value of entertainment as a means to engage and educate. Remember, as communicators we do have the responsibility not to bore people to death... literally. Social channels provide a perfect platform for public awareness and education, but we should never forget that people are usually using them for entertainment.

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Keep your agency and clients accountable to consumers in seven steps

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