Friday, October 19, 2012

Water Is Life - #FirstWorldProblems

Water Is Life is an non-profit group that works to provide clean water to people in need around the world.  Many people are unaware of the fact that millions of people around the world lack access to clean water.  Faced with the challenge of how to promote this organization and the issue in general , DDB New York developed the #FirstWorldProblems campaign.  The central campaign video highlights the gap between the haves and the have-nots.  Regular Haitians, many of whom are still affected by the 2010 earthquake, are shown reading from tweets with the hashtag #FirstWorldProblems.  For those of you not familiar with the hashtag, it usually contains tweets with trivial problems such as 'I hate it when my phone charger won’t reach my bed.'


In other videos, Haitian are shown responding directly to specific tweets.  Each video also features a call to action to donate now and visit waterislife.com to find out more about the issue.


DDB New York Executive Creative Director Matt Eastwood said he hoped that the campaign would actually eliminate the #FirstWorldProblems hashtag  '#FirstWorldProblems allows its user to self-mock the petty concerns of those in so-called “first world” countries, yet seem strikingly insensitive when compared to real issues across the world.'

The campaign has received some criticism, but I think it's a fantastic example of a) hijacking a hashtag for good and b) taking the idea of personalized responses videos and using them for good (or perhaps shame?)  For me personally, I found it packed a significant emotional punch and made me reconsider the paltry things in life that I occasionally bitch about when many people in the world are unable to meet even their most basic needs.

Additional Articles: Huffington Post