Can a hashtag save a life?

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Can a hashtag save a life?

Posted on July 06 2016

This week, hashtags got me thinking.

Whilst having a look through the entries from Cannes Lions 2016, I was delighted to see a campaign that used hashtags for good; a campaign that got people talking about something extremely important, but that also turned a hashtag into a solution to a huge problem.

I’m really not one for using hashtags on my personal social media accounts; usually the furthest I go is either using #nofilter when I clearly have (oh the irony) or when I genuinely haven’t. It just seems that hashtags are mainly used because a brand felt they needed one, or because people want more followers. Which, you know, is fine – but it’s all very egotistical.

McCann Lima’s campaign ‘Hashtags for Life’ for the Peruvian Red Cross aimed to solve one problem; in Peru there is a population of over 30,000,000, but there was only a database of 1,250 voluntary blood donors. So, they developed a dynamic platform for the Red Cross which categorised all volunteers by blood type. All people needed to do was hashtag their blood type followed by ‘Peru’, e.g. #OPOSITIVEPERU. The result? 22,983 new volunteers. Which is why it was shortlisted for the Grand Prix for Good award.

This is a great example of how social cause campaigns are achieving great success by using social platforms to elevate their messages, and turn talking into action. For further thoughts on social causes and platforms and how they come together to form outstanding results, see Jo’s article on The Drum, here:

http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2016/07/04/how-social-platforms-are-inspiring-social-change

Lily Cameron

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