A group of social marketing savvy women, collectively referred to as the “mommy bloggers,” clearly demonstrated the power of social marketing when they successfully used their blogs to rally massive opposition – 23 million Twitter impressions in one hour on January 27 – against a hospital’s misguided media campaign against childhood obesity.
The mommy bloggers have no problem with a campaign to end childhood obesity, but they took issue with the tactics of the Strong4Life campaign launched by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. They petitioned the hospital, in their organic social media endeavor, to end the campaign, which features unflattering images of overweight children.
Instead of promoting solutions to childhood obesity, the campaign’s ads opened overweight children to public ridicule, the mommy bloggers asserted. One of the blogs, Mamavation, pointed out, “The Strong4Life Campaign has purchased billboard ads all over the State of Georgia in hopes to promote a ‘wake-up call’ to Georgian parents about how many children are obese. Unfortunately, they decided to create ads that are so controversial, they are downright offensive and hurtful to children. We think they have gone too far. As a concerned group of moms we recognize that Georgia has a large scale problem with obesity. No one is refuting that. We are refuting however tactics that would inadvertently harm children in the process.”
The mommy bloggers’ social media blitz gained attention and acclaim around the world for its effectiveness in rallying opposition against the advertising campaign and bringing it to the attention of the general public.
For instance, the BBC News website on February 9, 2012, focused on the mommy bloggers’ campaign and pointed to it as one of the latest demonstrations of the power of social media. Other examples, the BBC News reported, included the online outcries that led the Bank of America to rescind its plan to charge monthly debit card fees and pressured Susan G. Komen for the Cure to reverse a decision to discontinue grants to Planned Parenthood.
The mommy bloggers also gained the affirmation of professional marketers. A blog post, “Marketing for a Cause,” on the website of Sway Digital Marketing of Durham, N.C., stated, “As a parent and an advocate for health and education, I appreciate the battle that Georgia is fighting over childhood obesity. But as many opponents to the campaign have put it, the enemy isn’t obese children, it’s obesity. And the campaign has put the wrong target in the crosshairs.”
While its first foray has been deemed a success, the mommy bloggers’ campaign is not over. Some of the Strong4Life billboards remain up.
So, in a follow-up post on February 12, Mamavation invited supporters to join in a second social media volley against Strong4Life, from 9 to 10 p.m. EST on February 16, using the hashtag #Ashamed.
The latest post said of the January 27 effort,
“A very impressive feat and very strong demonstration of how people in social media feel about shaming children into better health. But our campaign to stop the billboards in Georgia is NOT over. There are several still up in Atlanta in some of the poorest neighborhoods where the obesity rate is very high … We still have power to stop this! This is a fight about empowering children, not demeaning them and making them feel shame. No one here denies the fact that Georgia has the 2nd largest childhood obesity rate in the nation, but we feel in order to combat this statistic, it needs to be done in love and support … not with shame.”
And the mommy bloggers have proven that they know how to speak out with an amplified voice, thanks to social media.
About the author: Jaime is an avid hiker and skier who loves to write in her spare time for USBundles.com–home of Century Link .