Social Media Campaigns
Over the last several years, social media campaigns to raise awareness have become very popular. There are many illnesses in the world that people either don’t know much about, or they just don’t think about them. Some diseases are in the media all the time, like breast cancer and HIV/AIDS. There are walks and other events to raise awareness and funds for these diseases. Unfortunately, there are other causes that don’t get this kind of attention, which is where social media comes in. It takes just a couple of people to start something to raise awareness, and it goes viral.
The 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge
You may remember logging on to social media and seeing people pouring buckets of ice-cold water over their heads. You may have done it yourself. This was called the Ice Bucket Challenge, and it was initially started to raise awareness for ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This disease is very serious. It causes the muscles in the body to stop working. By the final stages of the disease, the individual is not able to use their hands, their legs, and even speak. A person is basically trapped in their own body. When everything shuts down, the individual passes away. Millions of people are suffering from this condition, and some well-known people like a football player, Tim Green and physicist Stephen Hawking.
The Ice Bucket Challenge of 2014 became so popular that in September 2014 alone, over 17 million ALS Ice Bucket Challenge videos were shared on Facebook. Many high profile people took place in the challenge, including Jimmy Fallon, Lady Gaga, and Oprah Winfrey. Influential politicians also got involved. Former U.S. President George W. Bush took the challenge, and while Barack Obama, who was President in 2014, was nominated, he didn’t accept the challenge, but he did make a donation toward the cause. The challenger was very successful, and the ALS Association received over $115 million in just eight weeks. This was huge when it came to raising funds for the neurological disease.
Movember was founded in 2003 by Luke Slattery and Travis Garone in Melbourne, Australia. They started the cause to shine a light on males cancers and mental wellness, which often are ignored by the people who aren’t affected by these issues directly. Luke and Travis started a trend where during the month of November, men would stop shaving. They would grow beards and mustaches to raise awareness of these conditions. They believe that this is a great way to raise awareness because it is written all over a man’s face. Since its launch, Movember has really been growing. In the first year, just 30 people took part in it. The next year, 480 people took part in the campaign and managed to raise $40,000 for the cause. By 2010, millions of men were growing mustaches and beards, and the campaign was very popular in 11 different countries.
Many high-profile men took part in Movember, such as Ryan Reynolds, Chris Hemsworth, and David Beckham. Thanks to them, more people got involved. The campaign was also featured on the hit show, The Office, which had characters on the show growing mustaches and talking about the campaign.
The viral charity campaign, #NoMakeUpSelfie, was started to raise awareness and funds for cancer research. It started in the U.K. but soon attracted people all over the United States. Many Hollywood celebrities took part in the movement. Celebrities including Beyonce, Rihanna, and Cara Delevings took selfies of themselves without any makeup on. Thanks to the campaign, millions of dollars were raised for cancer research. Following the success of the campaign, Harpal Kumar, the chief executive of Cancer Research in the UK, issued a statement. He said, “We have been overwhelmed by the support people have been showing through the #nomakeupselfie trend. We don’t receive government funding for our research. It is so phenomenal to think that the generosity of the public is enabling us to fund critical research that we didn’t have the money for six days ago.
The Green Light Campaign
Have you ever driven down the street and seen green lights outside people’s homes? When you look at their outside lights, have you noticed green light bulbs rather than traditional ones? If you see a house with a green light outside, here’s why you should stop and take notice.
The people who are installing these light bulbs aren’t doing this for Christmas or Halloween. The campaign is called, the Green Light a Vet campaign, and it was started to raise awareness of veterans and show appreciation for the sacrifices that they made for their country. The Green Light a Vet campaign, was launched on Veterans Day in 2015. According to the Green Light, a Vet Facebook page, “Green is the color of hope, renewal, and well-being. “Greenlight” is also a term that is used to activate a forward movement. The idea is to shine a light on America’s veterans, the sacrifices they made, and the help that they need.