Today at Mashable’s Social Good Summit, Susan Smith Ellis, CEO of RED, took to the stage to announce the organization’s next goal: To use social media to help ensure that no children is born with HIV/AIDS by 2015. RED has already successfully employed social media to get its message across. As Ellis points out, the anti-AIDS organization doesn’t exactly have a high marketing budget, so it “requires a high level of engagement” to raise awareness. To do so, they strive to humanize the cause by telling stories. “Social media will be the engine of our success,” she says.
The most recent effort was The Lazarus Effect, an HBO documentary about the effect ARVs can have on people with HIV/AIDS. The film was directed by Lance Bangs and executive produced by Ellis and Spike Jonze. You can now watch the documentary on YouTube. According to Ellis, the film has been viewed by more than one million people since it debuted in May. The film was also featured on RED’s iPad app [iTunes link]. In case you haven’t seen it, we’re embedding the documentary below.
Check it out and keep an eye on RED to see what efforts are on the horizon when it comes to meeting its next goal. RED, in partnership with Mashable, also announced the first annual Social Good Day, which takes place on September 23.
Ahem. Do we really think that social media can do this? Stopping the transfer of a disease that is primarily driven by poor-to-no use of adequate sexual contraception requires direct and explicit behavioural change. Whilst Social Media (in theory) could drive a very high level of awareness in an extremely short time (for minimal cost) – is it really going change behaviours if the very people who RED are interested in….. aren’t even in the channel?
How are they going to be involved in the campaign?
The absolute money shot with Social Media is creating ongoing, timely and relevant dialogue. Where’s the dialogue if a key party can’t even speak? Perhaps I’m being a little obtuse and not considering the wider campaign and how Social Media might sit in context, but my intial instinct thinks this is a massively short sighted strategy.
Wonderfully actionable or poorly conceived? What do you think? Two maps below might shed some insight on my initial reaction..
Reminiscent of so many ads nowadays, but cute nonetheless. And creatively speaking, miles away from the creative norm for this category.
Are you a mum? A smartphone using mum? Does this speak to you?
The Old Spice campaign that rocked our worlds over summer was truly great; not only because of its clever use of digital to spread like wildfire but also because it was a genuinely funny and well executed piece of advertising that garnered fans far and wide…. It even passed the mum test.
This it seems is an official successor from Old Spice and well, oh my – I don’t really know why they had to release this. It’s not very good.
I really don’t know why Wieden and Kennedy decided to run with this, presumably a zealous client wanting more of the pie. Maybe it worked in tests, but as far as I’m concerned it’s a let down and I can’t help but feel disappointed.
What do you think? A worthwhile successor or cheap imitation?