Last night a friend posed a question: Really, how useful is the recent #cockinasock campaign? If it’s ultimate aim was really to generate conversation around testicular cancer, is it actually doing the cause any good?
As fan of great (branded) social content, my instinctual response was a resounding yes! The #cockinasock has that elusive golden formula: mass niche appeal. If anything was ever going to be primed to ‘go viral’ this would be it! It is not only immensely shareable and humorous; it also appeals to a wide variety of disparate audiences. How often is that you can get this litany of tribes to engage with the same content:
Males from both the Straight and Gay exhibitionist category…
girls and guys with curious eyes
the punks who love controversy
the branch of feminists who want to be ‘observers’ and the ‘objectifiers’ (rather than the observed or the objectified).
teens, teens, teens!
However, explaining this position to a my friend, proved to be more difficult than it was in my head. I felt like I needed some solid statistics on how ‘branded’ content encourages conversations. And how while not everyone is going to have the conversation you intended, a great deal many more people would have conversations about your brand than they would otherwise.
In this case where a ‘brand’ really translates to a ‘public message’, the more people thatbget the chance to talk about the message and the content, the better. In fact, #cockinasock had been such an effective campaign, it sparked off an organic conversation last night between myself and two girlfriends in a sushi shop. And honestly, what is the chance we would have otherwise chosen to talk about testicular cancer during a girls night out?
This initial awareness of a message does not often translate into a direct immediate action, however the power of awareness can drive the direction of future action. I can guarantee that the moment anyone of our men complain about a strange lump in their respective #cockinasock, any one of us three girls is going to vehemently be recommending a visit to the doctor. Surely this is success?
Clearly, this kind of broad stroke awareness campaign needs to be followed up by cancer organisations with solid information on preventative steps to testicular cancer. I earnestly hope they have the balls to ride this sock wave, it’s a golden gift from content heaven.
Check out the site that started it all: http://getyoursockout.co.uk/
Donate to the cause: http://www.justgiving.com/getyoursockout