Branding Cancer with selfies and cocks in socks

Nomakeupselfie collage

Hot on the heels of the girls raising money for cancer with their no makeup selfies, guys are now getting in on the action. Wearing nothing but a sock, the hashtag #cockinasock is now one of the most popular topics trending globally on social media.

The campaign is building significant brand awareness for Cancer Research UK but it is not their campaign.

Cock in sock for Cancer Research

The sock idea was started by James Brown to raise awareness for male cancers. The campaign started in the UK but has now spread with socks and cocks appearing from all corners of the globe and it is raising a lot of awareness for cancer research.

The girls and their #nomakeupselfie campaign raised more than £8 million ($AUD 7.18 Million) for in donations in just six days.

Interestingly, both social campaigns were not brand led but people driven. Cancer UK did not start the #nomakeupselfie or the #cockinasock trends.

It all started when British mum, Fiona Cunningham (below) encouraged women to tweet their #nomakeupselfie pictures and donate to Cancer Research UK. The charity then posted a message on its Facebook and Twitter pages to support and encourage the campaign.

no make up selfie campaign
However, at this stage, Cancer Research UK doesn’t seem to be endorsing the boys and their sock campaign. Cancer Research has done some ballsy campaigns in the past, but perhaps this is too risky for the brand to be overtly endorsing.

But still, the boys are doing their bit, with their bits. #cockinasock is now trending and the website getyoursockout.co.uk is generating a lot of interest and funds for Cancer Research UK.

While many clearly think this is a bit of a lark, it’s good to see that some of it is doing some good. However, looking at the posts on twitter it’s hard to tell how much of the imagery is actually raising money or just an excuse to compare socks!

An interesting side note to the campaign is that the BBC is now reporting thousands may have also gone to Unicef or WWF rather than Cancer Research UK. This is due to selfie creators typing the wrong phase when donating by text.

 

Michael Hughes
Partner and Strategy Director

 

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