Great news! The Ad Council’s and USAID’s FWD Campaign was just selected as a Earnies Grand Prix Finalist! HelpGood developed and executed the social media strategy to raise awareness nationally about the famine, war and drought crisis in the Horn of Africa in 2011.


Voting is now open to the public. Please vote here.



The Earnies recognize the best campaigns from across today’s earned media landscape, that utilized listening, targeting and monitoring to maximize its impact.

In support of USAID’s FWD Campaign, which brought awareness about the Famine, War, and Drought in the Horn of Africa, HelpGood led a variety of social media tactics across multiple networks including Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube.  The efforts leveraged resources from USAID and the Ad Council as well as from their partners, allies and agencies.

In particular November 9th, 2011 became a focus of the campaign and dubbed “FWD Day”.  Its goal was to generate over 13 million shares across the social media platforms, equal to the amount of people in the Horn of Africa impacted by the crisis.

Total there were more than 117 million shares generated around FWD Day:

  • On FWD Day alone, 15 million people were reached on Twitter, generating over 50 million impressions and over the three-day period a total of 18 million people were reached on Twitter, generating over 51 million impressions.
  • Nearly 50 million Facebook fans across more than 70 public pages mentioned the campaign, which doesn’t even include private pages.
  • Celebrities from film, music, TV and the arts like Mia Farrow, Eliza Dushku, Mandy Moore, Monique Coleman and Lupe Fiasco, mentioned the campaign to their fans.
  • More than 40 videos were made garnering over 650,000 video views in just the first few hours of FWD Day, featuring viral video stars like Brittani, Lisa Nova, and the “Chocolate Rain” guy as well as comedy troupes from Barely Political, The Second City, and Funny or Die.
  • World music artist Angélique Kidjo even made a video in support of the campaign and two songs were composed by fans.
  • More than 30 blog posts with a reach of over 1.1 million people.

Overall the campaign was hugely successful, far exceeding the goal of 13 million shares.  Before the campaign started, the issue wasn’t widely known or talked about.  We now have the world’s attention.

So far the FWD campaign has been going strong with 10/26/11 being the largest social media day ever for USAID.

  • 6 Million impressions in one hashtag alone #askFWD
  • 30 Million Twitter impressions
  • 100,000 post views
  • 3,000 comments and likes on Facebook
  • 100 leaders and social media influencers
  • 60 partner organizations
  • Celebs – Ashley Judd, Mia Farrow, Anthony Bourdain and Mandy Moore
  • YouTube is launching a branded channel to share their video featured on the home page
  • Corporate partners like Twitter, Facebook, Yahoo, GOOD, PopSugar, Seemless and Verizon

And that’s just the start.  Tomorrow, 11/9/11 has been dubbed FWD Day.  Please forward the facts by sending the url to a friend. Our goal is lofty: 13 million shares.  That equals one share for every person impacted by the crisis in the Horn of Africa.

Watch the FWD campaign livestream announcement at Ad-Tech featuring Peggy Conlon of the Ad Council and Rob Greenberg of R/GA for the full campaign brief.

HelpGood is the social media agency on the FWD campaign.

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