No, I am not talking about the book by Orhan Pamuk. I am talking about Facebook.
Date : 7th January, 2010.
Place : Facebook
Phenomenon : You see status messages like “White”, “Black”, “Beige”, “Electric Blue”, “Nothing!!!” …
Deeper Analysis : Its the female users who have colors as their status messages. Male users ,like me, are clueless. When asked, we are snubbed at.
Revelation : Someone in Detroit decided to spread breast cancer awareness.through social-networking. She sent a mail through Facebook to her female friends which went like “Just write the color of your bra in your status. Just the color, nothing else. And send this on to ONLY girls no men .. It will be neat to see if this will spread the wings of cancer awareness. It will be fun to see how long it takes before the men will wonder why all the girls have a color in their status. Ha ha!”
Effect : What started as a fun mail in Detroit spread like wildfire all through the globe as chain-mail on Facebook within hours.
Proof of effect : My page on Facebook was flooded with “colorful” status messages.
- “I don’t want my wife/sister to be posting the color of her bra on a social network for everyone to see. Its against our culture”
- “How does it help in spreading awareness about breast cancer. Pointless, voyeuristic!!!”
- “The word bra reminds me of breast and not breast cancer”.
- “It was about fun and nothing else”
My two cents :
It had the fun element embedded in it, and that’s why it spread all over the world within hours. Remember the “jaago re” ad about voting. It was a success because the ad was interesting. It caught your attention.
A female friend rightly put it “Guys might think bra=breast, but for a woman bra=breast=breast-cancer because this is something every woman fears and should be worried about “. There were people who wrote on their blogs that seeing the phenomenon forced them to have a self-examination or get an appointment for a scanning or a mammogram. If this is not awareness then what is?.
Think of a situation when for the whole day you see ads about teeth and dental care on TV. If you have doubts about your dental health (even if you don’t) you just might be tempted to get a standard dental check-up. The whole advertising/marketing industry works on this phenomenon:
– Put an ad on internet/tv/newspaper/hoarding
– Expect x% of people to show interest in the product
– y % go ahead and buy the product and your ad campaign is a success.
Similarly in this case, even if 1% of women having fun on Facebook thought about going to the doctor or doing a self-examination, it was a successful awareness campaign.
As for people who were not comfortable seeing their wives/sisters/daughters putting up this status message , I have just one thing to say to them : “clean-up your mind, become educated and just GROW UP or you will become obsolete (like the floppy-disk) in this educated, progressive society”.
What are your views ??
P.S. : why am I writing on this topic??? Well, I strongly believe in the power of social-media , and this was a great example to bolster my belief.