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#SaidNoSchoolEver - Raising Awareness, Sarcastically

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As vital as many hashtags are, they can often come across as a bit po-faced. Sometimes there is a twinge of humour or aloofness to them but in many cases they are singularly intent on hammering the issue home. That's not a bad thing, clarity of argument is vital to a good campaign, but it would be nice to see campaign that understands the memetic value of trending as much as the directness.

Well, it seems one has turned up. Twitter is bustling with awareness trends at the moment, some are admirable, others are perplexing, but none of them are quite as well thought out or amusingly forthright as #SaidNoSchoolEver. Kicked off by the Chicago arm of the integrated marketing firm Havas Worldwide, the campaign aims to highlight supply shortages and funding issues in public schools across the city and the rest of the US.
At the most basic level, it involves teachers and sympathisers tweeting or posting sarcastic statements about having too many supplies to know what to do with. It could easily just stop there and still be an effective movement, but being that Havas are one of the biggest marketing firms in the world, they've clearly put some savvy minds behind it and figured out how to extend it further still, by pulling out the meme handbook.

On the front line, Havas have rolled out a series of 30 second videos featuring teaching staff jokingly talking about being overpaid, having too many supplies and generally not needing any more funding before the hashtag blasts onto the screen. The ads are supported by Hefty (the bin bag company), since they are a partner of Havas, but before you cry 'shameless', Hefty are using box tops to help raise supply funding for schools. It still smacks a bit of corporate circle jerking, but the cause still remains the central focus.

Meanwhile, memetic style images with bold, white text banners at the top and bottom have been released to the same end. The campaign is still in the process of taking off but I'd say that it's unlikely to fizzle out with the amount of marketing intellect and support it has behind it. The tongue-in-cheek approach is a refeshing new take on the hashtag campaign model, hopefully others will learn from this example.


Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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#SaidNoSchoolEver - Raising Awareness, Sarcastically Reviewed by Callum Davies on Saturday, August 08, 2015 Rating: 5

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