In the aftermath of the Ice Bucket Challenge and the #nomakeupselfie a new viral fundraising campaign has come to our attention. #WakeUpCall has a very similar proposition to the #nomakeupselfie, encouraging people to post photographs of themselves which were taken when they wake up – raising money for Unicef and aiming to ‘help wake people up to the crisis for Syrian children’.
Started by Jemima Khan, who is a Unicef ambassador, on Sunday (October 5th) the challenge has been taken up by many celebrities – male and female encouraging people to post their images and/or videos on social media and donate to the campaign. So far it seems to be mainly celebrities who have got involved – with very few non-celeb images tagged on Twitter (at the time of posting this article) however, demonstrating the importance of channel, Instagram has many more pictures from non-celebrities tagged #WakeUpCall.
Interestingly #WakeUpCall has gone about the viral message in the opposite way to other notable viral fundraising campaigns which have generally started with a group of people or a single strong story and have snowballed – celebrities getting involved later on, when called on to show their support. By reversing this pattern, it will be interesting to see if the general public will jump on this fundraising effort with as much vigour as they have previously. It remains to be seen whether the campaign will truly hit it off considering the less humble background and the immediate exposure to the lives of the rich and famous – something that has previously only happened due to the empowerment provided by social media.
Cynics might claim that #WakeUpCall is just another way for celebs to raise their profile, an exercise in vanity with a less than original idea, something that can be seen when comparing it with the most recent viral photo sharing campaign #HeForShe which is also fronted by a celebrity spokesperson, Emma Watson (she of Harry Potter fame). However, unlike #HeForShe, #WakeUpCall is a much simpler and immediate initiative, albeit one involving donating money.
Message and method aside, with large media outlets such as the Telegraph, Mirror and Huffington Post increasing exposure and credibility surely it won’t be long before the general public jumps on board. Or will this be a selfie too many?
One of the main goals for any charity is to generate passionate, committed, long term supporters so charities who are hoping to achieve viral success need to think about what happens when the hype dies down? What programmes and mechanisms are in place to ensure that they get some long term benefits from the increased awareness, generate sustainable donations and engagement?
Viral fundraising is a powerful way of raising awareness and donations and when they take off, they can go stratospheric. Time will tell if #WakeUpCall becomes a viral hit and normal everyday people (like us) get involved.
Hannah is a Digital Producer at Copper.