Youth Marketing Insights » Kevin Rudd http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg Inspiring best in practice youth marketing through sharing of ideas, strategy, trends and conversations about cool stuff Thu, 04 Feb 2010 04:31:40 +0000 http://wordpress.org/?v=2.9.2 en hourly 1 Don’t Punish Us: grass roots campaign fighting for the rights of our social life http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg/2009/03/11/dont-punish-us/ http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg/2009/03/11/dont-punish-us/#comments Wed, 11 Mar 2009 05:47:58 +0000 Meghan Stuyvenberg http://blogs.hillandknowlton.com/meghanstuyvenberg/?p=54 Oh the power of peer-to-peer movements…I recently came across one I had to share.

I was out over the weekend at a local watering hole in Sydney, waiting in an absurdly long line to get a drink, when I spotted an unusual donation box of some sort. On it was a photo of a girl holding a giant speech bubble that read “Who Says I Can’t Drink Responsibly”.

A bit of background for non-Australian readers. Last year Prime Minister Kevin Rudd stated he would “scare the living daylights” out of Australian youth by highlighting the real and dangerous effects of binge drinking. The solution proposed was a $53 million national campaign including TV ads, increases in alcohol-related taxes, as well as a host of measures put in place at bars and nightclubs, including a 2AM lock out.

Gasp, horror many night owls screamed in protest!

Stop right here though, this is not a commentary on binge drinking, this is a post to discuss what happens when an “unimaginative” government initiative (as deemed by the Sydney Morning Herald) collides with the empowered millennials of today.

Back to the beginning of my post. The donation box was collecting funds for a campaign called Don’t Punish Us. This is a non-profit, grass-roots movement established to build ground-swell support in favor of retracting the above mentioned pub and venue restrictions. From what I can read those supporting this movement are not suggesting to turn a blind-eye to the issue, but instead question in rather harsh terms the benefits, or lack thereof, of those that were initiated.

So, you might ask, other than lambasting the government on a public forum (what’s new there?) what to date really has Don’t Punish Us achieved?

Well, quite a lot. Already they have 17,000+ registered as part of the petition, and 18,000+ members joined the Facebook cause. At some stage the sheer volume of supporters will force the NSW government to respond.

However it is not just about numbers as we know, it is how this movement has sparked a conversation via the blog platform that highlights the real impact to me. This group has an opinion and they are holding the government accountable to finding the solutions. And of course they all have an opinion, why wouldn’t they? It is their issue, it effects them both the binge-drinking and in terms of the new restrictions. Why is it an after-thought to engage the target audience, especially when you are trying to effect change among them?

As for Don’t Punish Us, I think this is a great “youth” marketing example for several reasons:

- I like the power of grass roots demonstrated here, it is a bottom-through-to-top strategy, it makes people feel involved.

- I like the fact that it is both on and off line, just like social networks.

- I like that while it is a serious issue, the tone is perfect for the audience, it is entertaining and cheeky.

- I like how it is empowering and relevant – keys to youth marketing success.

- Most importantly, I like how it harnesses conversation and dialogue to effect change.

Moral of the story – if you doubt the impact of youth advocacy and/or social media, then I hope this modern-day story of David with his slingshot working to take down Goliath may make you think.

Oh, and thought it would be fun to post a little artistic irony from a friend (check out the box in the background)….

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