35 of the highest profile YouTubers, including Zoella & Jim Chapman went offline for 24 hours between the 12th & 13th March, in support of Red Nose Day. Instead, their feeds consisted of a seven second video featuring a red background and the text ‘#RedOut’.
There’s been a huge backlash to the stunt, with the YouTube community wondering why the campaign features so little information about why the vloggers have gone offline, and why the more in-depth video from the RedOut page itself wasn’t uploaded instead.
Whether this approach was right or wrong, Red Nose Day have achieved one of the most crucial aspects of marketing: making people feel something. With the potential anger & intrigue as to why more information wasn’t included that could increase donations, the impressions the campaign will have achieved as a result of the widespread media interest (including ours!) will far outweigh what it could have achieved solely appealing to the YouTube community.
Several news outlets including Metro, BBC, Radio Times and many more have covered the story, with over 10,000,000 accounts reached via Twitter alone. With a campaign to follow over the course of the week, including response videos that will no doubt gain a similar amount of attention due to the controversy of the original content, the reach of the campaign should gain a significant amount of interest in Red Nose Day and the cause itself.
The official hashtag for Red Nose Day #rednoseday has only reached around 6.5m accounts, peaking around the start of Radio 1’s #LOLathon over the last 24 hours. This highlights the strategy surrounding Red Nose Day - using high profile tactics early in the week prior to the official date to increase visibility, with sustained campaigns throughout the week to reinvigorate interest.
Good or bad, making people feel something creates engagement that managed properly, can have a positive impact on campaign awareness. Above all, remember what Oscar Wilde said, “There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about."
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