Can #GivingTuesday bring back the holiday spirit?

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Giving Tuesday was announced back in September, declaring November 27 as a day for individuals, families and businesses to contribute to communities near and far.  But the conversation is only heating up now.  And that’s all according to plan, thanks to an unconventional marketing campaign.

Branded #GivingTuesday, the campaign was founded by a diverse cadre of partners, including the 92nd Street Y of New York City, United Nations, United Way, small businesses, global conglomerates, nonprofits and media.  The founding partnerships themselves portray a more idealistic society where groups of all backgrounds unite for the common good.

The Internet is the crux of #GivingTuesday’s promotional launch.  Social media is the main platform, offering a vast audience and nearly unlimited free content space.  It provides transparent conversations between organizations, volunteers and beneficiaries, while empowering users to become “social media ambassadors“.  YouTube features videos of groups nationwide, each detailing how locals can get involved in their #GivingTuesday efforts.

Hashtagging the day is a simple, way to track the conversation and encourage a consistent message.  The fact that #GivingTuesday uses affordable online tools also bodes well for the campaign’s reputability – how could it justify the cause if it spent millions to launch it?

And the strategy is working – more than a thousand partners have joined.  This includes prominent media outlets, which are providing ongoing coverage of the campaign (HuffingtonPost, BuzzFeed, Mashable, Financial Times).

As for print and TV exposure, which Black Friday and Cyber Monday urgently rely upon, #GivingTuesday is getting piggyback exposure, thanks to the rule of three.  Communicators from Thomas Jefferson to Steve Jobs have found the number three to be the most compelling of digits, and the media is starting to examine these days in tandem.

#GivingTuesday is a smart campaign that uses unified branding and the power of social media to launch a national movement.  For people fatigued with relentless shopping promotions and store openings so early that it’s still Thanksgiving, #GivingTuesday is a campaign everyone can support.  And as a case study for brand launches, this is one for the books.

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