‘I AM HOPE’ – why the runaway success?

The clue is, as they say, in the title. Social media is just that – social.

What is it that makes some social media campaigns fly, while others barely get off the ground?

At the heart of its success is the desire we have as human beings to connect with others. If someone has an emotional connection to your content, they are much more likely to engage with you and your brand.

We saw this last week with the phenomenal response to Kiwibank’s ‘I am Hope’ Facebook campaign. The bank has now pledged $100,000 for Mike King’s #gumbootupnz, to offer young Kiwis free counselling.

The campaign was launched with the ambitious goal of raising $20,000, whereby Kiwibank would donate a dollar for each person who added the ‘I am Hope’ frame to their Facebook profile picture. Just two days later, due to its runaway success, the bar was lifted to $50,000 and then doubled again to $100,000. At last count more than 185,000 people were sporting the frame – and with it the Kiwibank logo.


Because it offered something both tangible (the first 50,000 people to use the frame each added $1 to the coffers) and worthwhile (who wouldn’t want to help our young people navigate their way through life?).

And because it’s personal.

New Zealand has one of the highest youth suicide rates in the world, and with that in mind the ‘I am Hope’ frame becomes more than just a gimmick, it’s worn as a badge of honour that says ‘I care and I want to help’.

Kiwibank markets itself as a bank that is ‘made for New Zealanders, by New Zealanders’. As the principal sponsor and champion of the New Zealander of the Year Awards, it celebrates the best in Kiwis and, in doing so, stays true to its brand.

The ‘I am Hope’ Facebook campaign following the awards gives a clear message that it puts its money where its mouth is.

If you didn’t know Kiwibank was behind the awards before, you do now.

And, subliminally, when that little green logo pops up again, it will have the feel-good factor.

What can you do to emotionally connect with your social media audience?

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