15th February 2014
It’s easy to look at an issue and think: Someone should do something about that, but it seems our governments are becoming less inclined to be the ones to do something. So where does that leave us?
We can either complain. Or we can act.
Last week I acted, almost by accident, by creating the #SPCsunday campaign. As this article explains, a simple conversation on Twitter spread throughout the social media and into supermarkets and homes across Australia.
Like anyone with a social conscience, when I act I hope to make a difference, but don’t really expect to.
So I was pretty blown away by the response to a call-out to support SPC Ardmona (SPCA) by buying their peaches and eating them with ice cream on Sunday night. People went above and beyond. The pictures started flowing on the Saturday, with contributors showing their stacks of cans: peaches, pears, two-fruits, baked beans, spaghetti, tomatoes…
#SPCsunday was a social media success. Timelines filled with pictures of people sharing their meals, and through that, their support for local farmers and manufacturers. The response was overwhelmingly positive and continued through the week as newspapers and radio stations contacted me to discuss this feel-good campaign.
On the afternoon of Thursday, February 13, I received a text: “Take a look at Twitter”, and I saw that our successful social media campaign had made an impact. The announcement of a signed deal between Coca-Cola Amatil and the Victorian State Government on a $100 million co-investment had secured SPC Ardmona’s position in Australia. It fell short of the amount the company had hoped for with Federal Government investment, but it’s enough.
SPC Sunday didn’t secure this deal, but it helped push the issue into the spotlight and develop some real consumer support for the company – a sweetener for the deal, if you like.
‘Buy Australian Made’ campaigns have been lost in the never-ending search for the lowest prices, and we’ve forgotten about where the food’s coming from. Now, Aussie consumers, and supermarkets, are thinking about it again.
Social media is the perfect medium for social issues to gain momentum. It’s simple to spread the news with a simple click to retweet or share.
But we need to keep being creative.
Firstly, we need to think about what is the core of the problem – in this case it was proving SPC Ardmona products had a consumer base.
Secondly, we need to ask how can we prove this? Simply going out to buy the products was already working, with sales up 50 per cent in the week preceding SPC Sunday – but by asking people to share their pictures, a whole new dimension to the issue was created: personalisation.
Who doesn’t like to see a pic of a cute kid slurping up their spaghetti for lunch? It was a way to feel good and do good at once.
We’re experiencing a lot of challenges with the political landscape at the moment, and it doesn’t take much to feel overwhelmed. However, as this campaign has shown, it’s possible to have a win if you can just find the right angle.
When you do something good you hope to make a difference. When you actually see a positive result it buoys you to almost indescribable levels. Last week I kept tearing-up at how positively the #SPCsunday campaign was received. Can you imagine my joy at hearing that the company was saved and will remain in Australia?
I hope this inspires others to think of new ways to react to issues in society that need to be addressed and to keep fighting the good fight. We can win.
Linda Drummond is a journalist and digital marketing manager based in Newcastle NSW. Her website is www.lindadrummondmedia.com