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Social media campaigns that used comedy to bring awareness

These social media campaigns brilliantly used humour to convey serious messages. Source : AIB Photograph: (WION)

New Delhi, India Sep 28, 2016, 04.56 AM (IST) WION Edge

Social media, if used strategically, is one of the most powerful tool to communicate and engage with masses. While brand marketers are innovatively using the web to engage with potential customers, there are many who harnessed this impactful platform to raise attention and initiate action on social causes. Here, we talk about some majorly successful campaigns that used an out of the box approach of inducing a comic factor to grab attention of the masses. These campaigns, besides tickling audience's funny bone, also instigated a sense of responsibility in them to participate in a larger than life issue behind the humour.

Here are brilliant examples of comedy being used to convey serious messages:

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

Source : Shine On Media

The ice bucket challenge was launched by the ALS association in 2014 to raise awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a fatal brain disease that damages motor neurons. People poured a bucket of iced water over their heads in order to appeal for donations before nominating others to do the same. The campaign spread like wildfire over the internet with over 2.4 million entertaining videos circulating. Renowned personalities including Lady Gaga, Tom Cruise, Cristiano Ronaldo, Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert Downey Jr and Tom Cruise participated. The campaign raised over $100 million in the first month itself that was used to fund several research projects. One of these was Project MinE, where the researchers recently announced that they have identified a new gene associated with the disease, which experts say could lead to new treatment possibilities



Feeling Nuts


Source : @realhughjackman via Twitter (Twitter)



Brothers and founders of Salter Brothers Entertainment, Simon and Andrew Salter were touched and inspired by the story of Wendy Gough, a woman who lost her son to testicular cancer only because he was too embarrassed to talk about it.

They launched the #FeelingNuts campaign where boys were to post a picture of crotch grabs to catch attention of males to check early symptoms of the disease. With support from celebrities like Hugh Jackman and Nick Jonas, the campaign reached 750 million people globally.

The "simple and powerful message" of Feeling Nuts has impressed the British health minister Norman Lamb, the Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk, who said " we have to make sure as the government that the system is able to respond to those people who come forward as a result."

Save The Internet, By All India Backchod

Source : All India Bakchod

All India Bakchod from India released a video - Save The Internet, that explained net neutrality and highlighted how telecom companies can change the internet usage scenario through a very basic and funny example. #SaveTheInternet took over Twitter trends with Bollywood stars like Shah Rukh Khan, Farhan Akhtar and Ayushmann Khurrana urging fans to support the cause.

Africa For Norway



Source : SAIH Norway

A Norwegian group called Radi-Aid launched a video to request Africa to send radiators to Norway. The cause was the condition of freezing children during Norway’s severely cold winter months. The humorous video has a serious message. Their effort is a serious critique of the Western media coverage that stereotypes underdeveloped nations .The point is that images of pitiable Africans are just as imprecise as the idea of helpless freezing Norwegians.

British Heart Foundation - Promoting Hands-Only CPR



Source : British Heart Foundation

British Heart Foundation (BHF) launched a campaign aimed at encouraging bystanders to perform hands only Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in case of emergency. Actor and former footballer Vinnie Jones appeared in a humourous training video demonstrating hands-only CPR. It demonstrates a simple drill : Call 999 and push hard and fast in the centre of the chest to the tune of the song 'Stayin Alive'.The BHF claimed at least 23 people used the technique in a medical emergency after seeing the ad.




Source : Made Men

Movember, a fusion of the words "moustache" and "November," is an annual movement where men ditch their razors for a month and grow moustaches to raise funds for prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and other men's health issues. Popularly known as ‘No Shave November’, this initially started as a fundraiser in 1999 that grew into a worldwide tradition, led by the Movember Foundation and has raised over $559 million to fund 832 men's health programs in 21 countries.

Spice Girls



The United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development campaign recreated Spice Girls’ 1996 hit “Wannabe” to empower women by emphasising on a number of key women’s issues like violence gender pay gap, and quality education for girls. It stars a range of stars from across the globe, including Canada’s Taylor Hatala, Sri Lanka’s Jacqueline Fernandez, Nigeria’s Seyi Shay and the UK’s M.O. The original “Wannabe” debuted on July 8, 1996 featuring Victoria Beckham, so this is a pitch perfect way to celebrate 20 years of completion.


What an entertaining mix of social media and social responsibility!


(Inputs from Shashwat Mittal and Devanshi Verma)

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