#SOInspired: Sometimes, You’ve Got To Hit ‘Em Where It Hurts

Here at Inspired Social we’re all about marketing that uplifts and inspires the audience, leaving them feeling better after the interaction.

Sometimes, though, you’ve got to share a bit of pain in marketing to truly get the point or essence of a message across.

Mashable recently profiled a brilliant social media campaign by Alzheimer Nederland (AN), called The Alzheimer’s Event, which is a beautiful illustration of that idea.


Utilizing Facebook’s photo platform and tagging feature, the campaign allowed Facebook users to upload a photo of a friend with whom they wanted to share the experience.  The friend’s likeness was then digitally added to one of several photos from fake events (facilitated by several local organizations lending a hand with this effort) – events that they obviously not attended.  They were then tagged in the photo, which resulted it in being posted to their timeline.  Upon seeing the post and landing on the photo of themselves at an event they did not attend, they were greeted with the message, “Confusing, right? You’re now experiencing what it’s like to have Alzheimer’s disease.”

Unsettling, to say the least – and that’s exactly the point.  It’s not very likely those who were tagged and experienced the campaign will soon forget how it made them feel  – and although no figures have yet been published, we’ll bet there was a significant amount of sharing around this campaign even though by its very nature, sharing it would inflict a bit of pain upon the recipient.

As enamored as we are with this campaign, one unanswered question remains in our minds – what sort of hard results did this campaign actually drive for the organization?   In order to promote virality and mass appeal, AN did not require a “Like” to their page for users to partake in the experience.  Despite that, were they able to grow their Community as a result of this campaign?  Did anyone make donations to this non-profit?

It’s one thing to make an impact upon someone and quite another to accomplish the end goal of bringing people into the fold with longer-term engagement within an organization’s Community, and to successfully solicit donations to further the organization’s work.  AN’s challenge moving forward will be to continue to innovate with their messaging to activate newer Community members and to inspire the entire base to action.  Given this strong first step, we think they’re equal to the task and are excited to see what they come up with in the future.


What do you think – would you resort to a campaign that might inflict a bit of pain to make the needed impression?   

How do you think you would respond to this sort of an experience online? 

What do you think?

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