Social media is growing. Social media is evolving. My job as a social media analyst has thus far, largely involved analyzing sentiments towards products, agenda’s, brands or even people. Sifting through negative comments for the most part of your day can be rather soul-crushing and result in lesser love for the entire platform. We’ve all been there. I am no doubt, a part of it. Bless the poor soul that may be going through my narcissistic selfies from my early 20s right about now. A group of analysts may just be rolling their eyes at my nagging rants about a brand or platform which allegedly did not live up to their promise and fail their consumers. Most of us have been there, most of us have contributed to someone’s research, and whether or not you’re on a social channel, you are a part of a statistic.
It’s easy to drown in all the noise and the superficiality of larger parts of the community. It’s easy enough to believe it is nothing more than a ground for whingers, attention seekers, and keyboard warriors. Then again, these are the social-born jargons and now we have some form of realization that there is more to this platform than what it has been idolized for. In efforts to find love for the industry I once upon a time sought to be a part of, I explored the numerous efforts made by brands all around the world to aid in resolving major issues or simply spread awareness of all that we as a community can together create, fix, improve, eliminate, break down stigmas and conditioned perceptions about age-old believes that do not serve their purpose nor reflect any form of love in today’s society.
INVISIBLE WOMEN – WOMEN’S AID ORGANIZATION
Earlier this year, the Women’s Aid Organization ran a campaign called ‘The Invisible Women’. The campaign aimed to draw attention to the discrimination that Malaysian women faced in the workplace. While the focus was drawn upon women who were discriminated for planning to have children or who were pregnant, it opened up a larger space for women of all backgrounds to share their stories on how the workplace has made it a less than ideal space for women to safely grow in. The website allowed women from all over to share their stories, which was then publicly displayed in an exhibition held in Publika, back in March this year. Many would assume the discrimination would origin from a superior who is of the male gender. Contrary to popular assumptions, many women discriminate against each other as well. An important realization here is that; it isn’t about being the same gender which promotes understanding of one another. It is about learning to have empathy and compassion for another being and always looking for solutions and ways to provide a safe space for each other to grow in. The campaign page still runs actively, please pledge your support if you haven’t.
REAL FEELS – DUREX
A well-known brand and one that has had numerous competitors which have not come close to exceeding popularity, Durex continuously attempts to be more than just a brand promoting condoms and safe sex. The brand has noticeably carried out efforts in increasing knowledge of what is known to be a rather taboo topic in Malaysia. The brand’s significant efforts can be seen through its Facebook Page and innovative inventions. Its recent debut of the “Real Feels” card game encourages couples to have fun getting to know one another and connecting deeper with their partners. The card-game included 3 categories called ‘Love Actions’, ‘Deep & Meaningful’, and Flirty Acts – all designed to stir up serious and fun conversations and activities. Discover KL summarized that the game was ideal for long-term couples.
DIGI CYBERSAFE 2017: HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT
On a slightly deemed controversial angle, DiGi in collaboration with the Big Bad Wolf sale was home to a campaign that aimed to spread deep awareness of sexual predators. Posters were placed throughout the Big Bad Wolf sale to elicit a strong emotional response from the public, in efforts to direct them to a booth where they could be educated on how to safeguard children’s Internet experience.
Digi CyberSAFE campaign was a joint effort with Digi, CyberSecurity Malaysia, Ministry of Education, UNICEF Malaysia, Childline Malaysia and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC). Their aim is to create greater awareness and capacity building on digital safety and citizenship. Their efforts have been ongoing since 2011, where they have engaged with more than 100,000 schoolchildren, teachers and parents across Malaysia through awareness talks, training programmes, as well as through various educational resources.
THE OTHER SANDERS – KFC MALAYSIA
On International Women’s Day this year, KFC touched hearts of women from around the world with its Claudia Sanders story. The brand shared how Claudia Sanders was the key ingredient behind the secret blend of herbs and spices. It was shared that while Colonel Sanders gave the world his secret recipe chicken, it was Mrs. Sanders who mixed and shipped the spices. On March 8th, KFC changed its logo to Claudia Sanders on all social platforms, gaining unprecedented attention globally, and with coverage on numerous online sites and even got the likes of Jimmy Fallon and Ellen DeGeneres talking about it. The brand aimed for women in a conservative country such as Malaysia to celebrate their fairer, better, and stronger selves. The idea of a simple logo takeover gained attention and love, globally.
“SOMETIMES YOU WIN, SOMETIMES YOU LEARN”
But of course, there were varying points of views on KFC’s efforts. Hello Giggles described the campaign as “cheap” and that it seemed KFC Malaysia was using an empowering holiday as a marketing ploy. The site also revealed many tweets from frustrated women around the globe who felt that the campaign did not depict women as empowering and that the video came off “condescending, obnoxious, and another example of invisible women supporting men’s achievements”.
Brands set out with good intent, while some parts of the world can greatly appreciate this, the demand can be a lot more challenging in other parts of the globe. It is an interesting and a very educational perspective on the varying emotional responses. While you’ve got a larger percentage of the world rooting for the brand’s efforts, you also have a pool of influential young and strong women who feel differently towards the approach. This in itself showcases the beauty of diverse responses social media is able to deliver and educate us on to continuously improve in growing together with our ever-evolving community.
NOTHING BUT LOVE & GRATITUDE
These are but a few campaigns that have restored my faith and believe in social media platforms and how these evolving platforms have immensely aided in educating the public, creating a better nation today. Recognizing that there is significant growth and ongoing work by various individuals, brands and ad agencies, it is comforting to know that in some tiny way, I too, am contributing towards effectively spreading the word, ensuring that every cause and movement gets the exposure and perspective it deserves. It is not only a growing industry, it is truly evolving in ways that promote freedom for many of us.
I speak of freedom in the sense of being able to openly share one’s perspective regardless of background and history, enabling and encouraging people from all walks to reach out and find their voice in an already crowded room. I am inspired by causes which encourage with boldness and love, dissolving all fear and insecurities – resulting in a stronger community. We may not be able to solve every tragedy, but we are on the path towards sculpting the right personalities to do so in the near future.
I enjoy my job, but more than anything, I have the utmost gratitude for what it allows my soul to learn and experience.