Since the first days of the internet, those online have experimented in creating behavioural chain reactions. Most often, these early attempts involved little more than sending out an email that contained a promise of all types of misfortune if the message wasn't forwarded. And invariably, there would always be a few recipients who found the electronic promise of impending doom as sufficient impetus to send the message on.
And while this achieved little more than cluttering the embryonic email accounts of early adopters, the principle underpinning these chain letters is still relevant in today's social media age in the sense that if you give people a good enough reason to share something, then they will pass it on.
Since 23 October, muesli brand Hubbards has been trying to create a chain reaction of its own through a campaign called 'Keep the good going', which encourages Kiwis to participate in random acts of goodness.
"This campaign is about inspiring a movement that encourages New Zealanders everywhere to take on the challenge of doing random acts of kindness, which then go on to generate a chain reaction of good deeds within their local community and New Zealand at large," said a release from Hunter, the creative agency behind the concept.
The campaign first kicked off in Britomart with an outdoor installation called the Good-deed-o-meter, which rewarded participants with two boxes of muesli—one to keep and one to give to a friend—if they pledged to do a good deed or told a good deed story about one of their friends.
Hubbards Marketing Manager Rebecca Bergs said: “Judging from the laughter, stories and selfies, we felt that we’d made a step in the right direction in the creation of a positive movement that’ll continue to grow over time. When the word got around that we were handing out free boxes of Hubbards muesli then things got rather busy and the Good-deed-o-meter was dispensing boxes as quick as you could tell your story.”
Following this launch, Hubbards delivered a giant container of muesli (bearing 500 actual boxes) to unsuspecting do-gooders at the Kirikiriroa Boxing Club, a Hamilton based non-for-profit organisation that works on uplifting the local community through boxing.
Commissioning the directorial skills of Michael Humphrey, Hunter then produced a pair of videos, which has been posted to both Facebook and YouTube, in order to spread further news about the campaign.
“Working with Michael to bring stories of Good Deeds like this to life has been great," said Hunter's executive creative director Matt Gibbins in a release. "But what’s been fantastic and also quite humbling have been the actual good deeds themselves and their obvious knock on effect. They literally inspire you into doing a good deed yourself. Powerful stuff those warm fuzzies.” said Matt Gibbins, Hunter’s ECD."
The Good-deed-o-meter has also been integrated onto the Hubbards Facebook page along with a counter deed counter that keeps track of how many deeds have been lodged thus far. And while the number of deeds lodged within the app is still below 200, the Facebook page has also been receiving a relatively steady stream of posts.