Every now and again I come across a campaign that makes me think ‘damn, I wish I’d thought of that’. An idea which is so simple, but brilliantly effective. That was certainly the case with the unofficial NSPCC campaign, which saw thousands of people change their Facebook profile pictures to cartoons from their childhood, in order to raise awareness of child abuse.
OK, so it transpires that the campaign didn’t have anything to do with the NSPCC and it’s taken its fair share of criticism online, but there’s no escaping the fact that the campaign has generated a significant amount of buzz.
In fact the campaign went viral within days of its launch, with more than 90,000 people joining its Facebook page and countless more people changing their pictures.
What I like about the idea is its simplicity. There are no expensive Facebook applications. No complicated entry mechanics. Just a simple call to action.
And it certainly got the nation talking.
The mystery surrounding the source of the campaign has certainly added to the buzz but anything that makes us feel nostalgic about our childhoods is also a surefire way of getting people talking. The thousands of tweets, blog posts and news articles that have been published globally off the back of the initiative certainly support this.
The cynics have questioned how much good the campaign has done, given that there is no direct way to donate to the NSPCC, but I would argue that anything that raises awareness of the fantastic work done by the NSPCC in its fight against child abuse can only be a good thing.
And I have a sneaky suspicion that NSPCC’s creative agencies will be kicking themselves that they didn’t come up with the idea first!