Advocacy needs a platform, and causes need a champion…just ask ALS about that ice bucket.
Every non-profit organization and related movement hopes for an ice bucket to help change the world (and make a few bucks in the process)…and many parents would argue that the next worthy cause is cyberbullying.
According to the Cyberbullying Research Center (CRC), more than 1 out of 4 students in middle school and high school report that they have been bullied online by the “cool kids.” Almost 3 out of 4 students have witnessed cyberbullying take place.
Coca-Cola sought to play off this endemic issue during the Super Bowl. But is the focus of massive multinational conglomerate “the real thing?”
During Super Bowl XLIX, Coke challenged America to develop #MakeItHappy “into more than a hashtag.” The request was to ask people to “happify” a tweet, tag it accordingly and pass it on. Of course, trolls are a thing so the commercial and its strident cause met with a bit of resistance. People did, however, begin talking.
For a moment, “cyberbullying” was trending on Twitter because the ad made people think. But will it make them act? And will Coke commercials have anything to do with the way “Mean Girls” behave online?
We asked the director of a well-known non-profit organization in North Texas who wished to remain anonymous about the solid Coke just brought for cyberbullying awareness:
“Every non-profit, faith-based, and government organization that has a premise or a purpose prays for a backing like Coke gave cyberbullying. That advocacy is worth a decade of fundraising because people listen to brands much more carefully than they pay attention to the words of any talking head. I can only hope this one sticks — and Coke sticks with this for a long time to come.”
The reason this person wants to remain anonymous is that his/her child was cyberbullied (badly) and currently has some pending litigation against the school he/she attends. This is a serious problem that requires a serious response. And despite the onslaught of #MakeItHappy jokes about a bottle of Coke spilling on some mainframe and inspiring cardiac arrest for some unfortunate CTO, Coke did spend $4.5 million on a cause.
That makes Coke the best advocate bullied children have had in a very long time…but we’ll see if it lasts.