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#helloworldRELAY - Instagrammers Unite for the World's First Social Media Relay

The level of inventiveness with which marketers and brands are approaching Instagram continues to impress. From choose-your-own-adventure comics to photographic cooking guides to interactive shop windows for clothes, the seemingly limited picture sharing platform has been shown to have massive scope for creative marketing. This, however, might be the most amazing one yet.

Helloworld are an Australia-based travel agency, and last Sunday they set something into motion that not only extolled the joys of world travel, but also demonstrated the power of social media to galvanise people. Enlisting the help of over 75 well known Instagrammers across more than 60 countries, helloworld set into the motion the world's first 'social media relay'. Starting as the sun rose in Samoa, the participants were encouraged to continue taking pictures around their home nation for the 12 hours until the sun set. As the sun traced its path across the world, more countries got in on the act until it finally set in the Cook Islands, completing the journey. 

The idea behind it was to offer a comprehensive insight into each country as the sun made its way around the Earth. Rather than just seeing the typical tourist attractions that most travel agency brochures offer, the feed of images which slowly built up as the day went on showed a side of the world that only the people native to each country know about. For them, it was an assertion of national pride, for everyone else, it was a fascinating photographic tour of the planet.

{ Dragon Wakening } In the 19th century, the people of Tai Hang began performing a dragon dance to stop a run of bad luck afflicting their village. More than a century later, their village has been developed into a part of the cosmopolitan. But the dragon keeps on dancing. It has even danced its way onto China's third national list of intangible cultural heritage. All this started a few days before the Mid-Autumn Festival, sometime around 100 years ago. First a typhoon slammed into the fishing and farming community of Tai Hang. This was followed by a plague, and then when a python ate the villagers' livestock, they said enough was enough. A soothsayer decreed the only way to stop the chaos was to stage a fire dance for three days and nights during the upcoming festival. The villagers made a huge dragon from straw and covered it with incense sticks, which they then lit. Accompanied by drummers and erupting firecrackers, they did what they were told and danced for three days and three nights -- and the plague disappeared. #helloworldRELAY :: #discoverhongkong :: #shotoniphone6 :: #WHPactionpacked
A photo posted by S T E P H E N (@xcanadian) on

The well known Instagrammers involved appeared at a series of planned events at specific locations as the 36 hour Mexican wave continued, with everything being organised directly through the platform. It wasn't limited to the countries which were hosting official events for it though, as just about anyone in the world could take part and many did. Still, it remained most active and impressive in helloworld's native Australia, the feed was displayed across interactive digital screens which also displayed travel information.

Since the 36 hour period officially ended, people have continued to post images pretty consistently across much of the world, turning the #helloworldRELAY hashtag into an ever-growing library of geographic wonderment. Helloworld clearly put a huge amount of effort into this project and it wouldn't surprise me if more social media relays happen in the near future, it's too good of an idea to remain a one-off.

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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#helloworldRELAY - Instagrammers Unite for the World's First Social Media Relay Reviewed by Unknown on Wednesday, September 30, 2015 Rating: 5

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