Half the Men
Social media can be a powerful tool for building awareness of important causes, but it has its limitations, as shown in this 2009 organ donation campaign.
In the spring of 2009, LifeSource, the organ procurement organization serving Minnesota, North and South Dakota and part of Wisconsin, engaged Interval to explore how social media could be leveraged to impact the cause of organ and tissue donor designation.
Working with the client team to identify a specific challenge related to organ and tissue donor designation, the group focused on the fact that while donor designation in Minnesota stood at roughly 50 percent for the entire population, men ages 45-65 had a lower rate, with only 47 percent of men in that age group selecting donor designation. Interval developed a promotional campaign based solely on social media communication and live events, and supported by website content, with no paid advertising. The campaign theme, “Half the Men,” supported the goal of increasing the level of donor designation in men ages 45-65 to 50 percent (“half the men”).
The two-month initiative featured a “Half The Men” website, four videos that poked fun at typical goofy things men do (e.g. wear socks with sandals, expose “plumber butt”), campaign “ambassadors” – real men who have been affected by the cause (organ recipients, family members of organ donors, etc.), a new Facebook presence, a new Twitter feed, which featured ongoing posts supporting the campaign, and coordination with existing events and appearances already scheduled by LifeSource, including launching the campaign at the Minnesota State Fair.
The campaign increased LifeSource Facebook fans from 40 to 438, and the organization gained 220 new Twitter followers (starting from 0). The campaign website garnered 1,227 unique visitors and nearly 5,000 page views, and the campaign generated 874 video views on YouTube.
However, the goal of raising donor designation in Minnesota men ages 45-65 to 50 percent wasn’t achieved. The organization saw an increase in donor designation of only 15 people on its online registry in the campaign’s first month compared to the previous month’s designation. Total registrants as reported by the State of Minnesota (those who register when renewing their driver’s license) was 7,547 for the first month of the campaign, compared with a total of 7,856 in the month prior, a net decrease of 309.