Tag Archives: respect

The Academy tweets the perfect tribute to Robin Williams

12 Aug

When I woke up this morning I had a #WhileYouWereSleeping hashtag moment after reading that Oscar-winning actor Robin Williams has died at the age of 63.

As the world’s media look for people who ‘knew him well’ for sofa interviews, finalise their obituaries and monitor celebrity tributes, there’s just one thing I’m interested in today: The Academy.

Eight hours ago it tweeted the words ‘Genie, you’re free‘ to 768,000 followers (and counting), in reference to Williams’ role as the Genie in Disney’s Aladdin – and it’s already been re-tweeted more than 196,000 times and favourited by over 130,000.

Throughout Williams’ 35-year career, he was nominated for four Oscars but was always the bridesmaid and never the bride until he teamed up with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck for Good Will Hunting in 1997 – five years after Aladdin. So, why did it tweet the Genie?

Jumanji, Patch Adams and Hook aside, this was Williams’ iconic role, albeit animated, because he didn’t even have to act. The Genie is Williams – the role was designed for him, not the other way around. And the fact that the film sold well over 25m copies worldwide upon its release is testament to this.

So, now that’s settled, why else was the tweet so successful (apart from being picked up by online superpower Buzzfeed)?

1) Thought leadership

The Oscars are at the top of the food chain when it comes to the movies. The honours are respected, so if The Academy is tweeting to a large audience, everyone takes notice.

2) A picture says a lot of words

The Academy used a striking and emotive image of the Genie with Aladdin. It didn’t feel the need to crop, zoom in or filter. It opted for simplicity and it’s paid off.

3) Straight to the point The simplicity of the image was also reflected in the wording, which captured the essence of Williams without the need for hashtags, weblinks or self-promotion – maintaining The Academy’s classy reputation. So, not only is this the perfect tribute, but also the perfect PR balance.

What do you think of the tribute tweet?

The Academy tweets the perfect tribute to Robin Williams

The Academy tweets the perfect tribute to Robin Williams

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Women use Twitter to laugh off the Turkish Government’s comments

31 Jul

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The Turkish Government sparked a social media trend this week when the deputy Prime Minister, Bülent Arinç, claimed that women should be seen and not heard (laughing).

Speaking of the country’s social decline, Arinç said:

“A man should be moral but women should be moral as well, they should know what is decent and what is not decent. She should not laugh loudly in front of all the world and should preserve her decency at all times”.

In rebellion of this outrageous remark, Turkish women took to Twitter to take lol selfies (Prime Time is dubbing them ‘laughies’) to take a stand – and I salute them.

In the past I’ve blogged about the need for social media silence, when it comes to brands trying to manipulate sensitive social issues for commercial gain. (American Apparel and Blackberry – I’m looking at you. Just click on the links to see why.) But, when it comes to gender inequality we need to shout, as loud as we can.

Women are accompanying their ‘laughies’ with the hashtag #direnkahkaha, which means resist laughter, highlighting the absurdity of the personal claims. And it’s already peaked at an estimated 3,000 tweets an hour in the last day, proving that we do have a voice.

But, unfortunately the issue isn’t contained just in Turkey. A new Change.org petition in the UK is calling for old NHS and Home Office posters to be scrapped from waiting rooms across the country. Why? Because it says this:

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This naive attitude is up there with ‘women put themselves at risk when they dress in a certain way, leading men on’. It’s not right.

Both of these incidents are offensive, judgemental and make women feel worthless. The only difference is that the UK took this feedback on board and dropped the marketing materials in 2007. The worrying thing about Turkey is that these comments are current – proving how little they value the women in their society and everything they can offer their communities.

To Arinç I say: click here. This campaign is for you.

To Turkish women I say: keep tweeting.

To the rest of the world I say: keep watching. Women should be seen, heard and spoken to with respect – always.

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7 year old tells off Lego boss for making toys for boys

3 Feb

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I wouldn’t say I’m a feminist but I do have strong opinions. Even tonight my Mum told me to calm down and not get so fired up by other people’s choices.

It was only over the weekend that I was discussing with a PR friend that Kinder Surprise‘s move to package its chocolate in blue and pink is a bit ridiculous. When I was young it wasn’t about the type of toy you got, whether it was a car or a doll, it was the experience I had when I was enjoying the chocolate and the toy – I knew I was winning.

Which is why I don’t think girls should be backed into a corner to opt for stereotypical pink accessories. That’s right – I’m with Charlotte Benjamin.

Who’s Charlotte I hear you ask? She’s a seven-year old with a kick-ass attitude to gender ideals. She makes me wish my mum and dad were handing me pieces of paper and a biro to jot down my thoughts at that age because I’m sure I had them.

She’s written a letter to Lego to point out that on a recent shopping trip she noticed the following things:

1) Where are the girls?
There were fewer Lego girls to choose from compared to Lego boys.

2) The girls stayed at home
While the Lego boys were able to have adventures and play the hero, the Lego girls were at home, at the beach or just pampering themselves.

This letter has now gone viral and been covered by national newspapers such as Metro, Daily Mail and The Independent. And Lego’s social media manager has been working around the clock to engage with its 113,000 Twitter followers to explain that it does listen to its customers’ views and, with over 450 products available each year, it’s hoping there’s something for everyone.

But, for once, I actually have more respect for this iconic brand (for now). There’s a golden PR opportunity to respond to Charlotte’s letter and address the theme of gender roles. And, if I was the boss, I’d use its upcoming Ghostbusters Lego launch to do just this and run a witty, tongue in cheek across Twitter, Facebook and Vine.

It may be too late to turnaround a reactive campaign, to complement its Lego Movie in cinemas on Friday, which is why Ghostbusters is one of the next best hooks.

This way, it can find a way to publicly acknowledge the letter, apologise for the inconvenience and promise to do better – the perfect formula to transform this viral storm into a positive PR stunt.

What do you think?

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