January 11, 2010

It’s a Wonderful mash-up

braIf you thought there was enough personal information contained on Facebook already, hang on to your (bra) straps for just one second there.

Two viral campaigns caught my eye on Facebook over the weekend. The first one turned up in a Facebook status update that simply read ‘lilac’. Intrigued, I dug around and spotted similar colour-themed status updates sweeping the network.

The updates are apparently part of a campaign designed to raise awareness about breast cancer, with the idea being that women update their status with one simple word: the color of their bra.

Facebook says it hasn’t been able to find out who came up with the idea, but the charity is pretty happy with the campaign nonetheless.

The idea contains some of the essential elements of a good viral campaign, curiosity, humour, and arguably reward.

By concealing the brand behind vague one-word updates, the idea forces you to hunt for answers and when you discover the reason for the update, you feel a sense of satisfaction for spending time searching for clues.

The effort involved makes the campaign stick in your mind just that bit more than something that serves up all the answers on a plate. It’s a great way to raise awareness around a charitable cause.

The other campaign going viral’ish which caught my attention over the weekend is Arianna Huffington’s Move Your Money project, which implores people to move their money to small institutions.

The accompanying 4-minute video is brilliant, poignantly tapping into the festering resentment of big banks and a growing frustration with government officials by splicing clips from James Stewart’s George Bailey character in the 1946 classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.

Given the video is something millions of people identify with and it cleverly exploits the recombinant and hyper-local trends through an iconic movie, I was surprised to see it’s only had 357,000 views in just two weeks.

I personally think it deserves more. Is it too long at just over four minutes or have people grown tired of recession-themed chat?

Perhaps it’s begging to be seeded on sites other than the Huffington Post and the Money Your Money site for people to start sharing the video in big numbers.