In conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness month, Estee Lauder has launched a microsite that encourages people to take concrete actions to fight breast cancer. Estee Lauder's Stronger Together social media microsite, which went live on October 1, asks people to create circles of strength -a group of family and friends- to help motivate them to keep goals related to breast health, such as scheduling mammograms, maintaining a healthy lifestyle or donating to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).
Participants set goals and then connect over facebook with others to help them achieve those goals. They can also share tweets and instagram photos using the hashtag #BCAstrength. The Stronger Together site also showcases videos on the lives of three breast cancer survivors, Annie, Marlena and Arlene, to tell their stories and how the support of others helped them.
The site and videos were created by New York-based agency Raison D'Être. It is translated into 16 languages, and is being accessed in 70 countries, including a separate version created for China.
The BCRF, founded by Estee Lauder's senior vice president Evelyn Lauder in 1993, was one of the first organizations to raise awareness for breast cancer as well as funds for cancer research, which goes to Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital in New York. Lauder and former Self magazine editor Alexandra Penney also helped make the pink ribbon the international symbol of breast cancer awareness.
"Breast cancer used to be spoken about in hushed tones and whispers," says Marisa Thalberg, vice president, global digital marketing at The Estee Lauder Companies. "We have been at this a very long time and have greatly raised awareness."
But although the beauty products company has increasingly used social media to promote its efforts in this area in recent years, the new campaign using the microsite seeks to take that to the next level, Thalberg says.
"We needed to think about how to transition awareness into action. We wanted women to be more proactive with breast health and derive support from others," she notes, while at the same time continuing to raise money for the cause.
Digital and social media are the perfect tools for this, Thalberg believes. "Social causes and social media go together. It's amazing how you can galvanize a global community. This is not just about sharing. It's about motivating people to take even a very simple action," she says.
The idea of creating circles, in which users can pledge to do anything from taking a healthy walk each day to donating $10 to the cause, is hoped to tap into the tendency of people to create microcommunities.
"It's amazing to know you are part of a giant tapestry of interactivity, but at the same time, people tend to operate in micro communities of five or ten friends. This is a campaign that is powerful across all touch points, both off and online," says Thalberg.
In the first two weeks of the campaign, the accompanying videos have been viewed 150,000 times. Thalberg also says that there has been a "healthy" volume of traffic and engagement overall, although she declined to give more specific numbers.
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Mary Lisbeth D'Amico is a freelance writer based in Jersey City who frequently covers digital marketing, social media, tech startups, and venture capital. She has contributed to a wide range of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Red Herring, and Real Deals. Find her on Twitter at @mldamico.
March 19, 2014