Herein lies the sequel to the last post on humour & activism…some interesting case studies & words of encouragement have been ping’ed back.
Honourable mentions & fond reminiscing over LOLs of yore went to many American-election-related clips (Sarah Silverman’s Great Schlep, Barely Political’s Obama Girl meme) & last winter’s brutal Prop 8 melee in California, whose only silver lining/legacy is this over-the-top-star-studded-musical a melodic religious fundamentalist parody.
Celebrity aside, the juice that kept these URLs circulating was the humourous content – what many marketers/communicators love to call ‘sticky’ messaging – transmitted thanks to a wry undertone, quirky theme or flat-out parody.
The need to be *truly* funny was driven home by this week’s Sunlight Foundation blog post about how ineffective standard mass emails are for political/advocacy campaigns.
We’ve become increasingly immune to receiving messages guiltily prodding us into action, making donations or heightening our awareness through this inbox-filling-platform. Just think – how many emails with witty titles do you delete sight-unseen on the daily?
One of the great things about pumping out newsletter-style emails to your preaching-to-the-converted-list is the metrics that you can mine for unique hits, forwards, open-rates, etc.
Sadly, according to the folks at Sunlight, open rates ain’t what they used to be. Jake Brewer echoed many consultant/client concerns musing:
“I have a confession to make, though. I really don’t like email that much. I see 30% open rate and think “70% delete rate.” I see 8% click through, and think… “oh jeez.”
Strongly encourage you to check out his entire post as he eerily accurately dissects what has now become the cookie-cutter template for all advocacy/NGO emails:
SUBJ: Something catchy/funny/intriguing/pun to get you to open the email
That prompted an ‘oh jeez’ of my own…guilty as charged. Often. Moving beyond cheeky wordplay, what other funny elements can campaign communicators whip out to stand out?
One recent example, which used cheeky language IRL & online, stands out because it focused on the mobile platform’s hottest PYT, Foursquare.
Earthjustice’s San Francisco campaign is now in metro stations to assist their legal efforts to prosecute the oil companies behind the spill. BART stations around SF are displaying this advertisement, prompting transit users to check into a location called “Earthjustice Ad“, which results in an Earthjustice donor chipping in $10.
Many reasons to love this campaign, let’s try to list most of’em here:
• No onus on participants to donate
• BUT campaign message lingers in user’s Foursquare stream…& Earthjustice hopes users’ll scratch curious itches by visiting the NGO’s site…& hopefully/eventually donating themselves…
• By checking into the location, user’s friends’ streams are notified (the kids are calling this ‘viral’ these days)
• More bang-for-buck on ad-buy
• Metrics, metrics, metrics
• Novelty & time-killing aspect of foursquare is a perfect fit for transit downtimes (types the mayor of three streetcar lines…)
Now Earthjustice isn’t about to bonus its staff with a foursquare-funded Faberge egghunt anytime soon.
A quick visit to the registered location page itself yields some underwhelming results:
But, hey, it’s early days & in the grand scheme of things it’s $3,100 that I’d bet Earthjustice wouldn’t receive otherwise from these transit users’ involvement. (There’s also a ‘Various Locations‘ version, too, with similar uptake).
It’d be great to hear what your predictions are for the next wave of cheeky/funny/quirky advocacy work going & how big of a role will mobile/location-based apps play…