When in strife, let a hashtag come to the rescue

A quick 15-minute brainstorm has turned into one of the best social media campaigns to come out of Western Australia in recent memory. In response to the national strawberry crisis, #smashastrawb was launched and has completely taken over the feeds.

Before the cynical brain takes over and you think, “no, not another #hashtag campaign, what are we supporting this week?”, let us assure you there is something different about this one.

A good story – and the ability to tell it – is at the heart of every successful social media campaign, #smashastrawb begged for people to tell their stories of their favourite berry encounters. Australians also have a strong sense of community and affinity for our farmers, and as such, when they are in strife, we act.

With a couple of tweets and shout-outs over local talkback radio, the #smashastrawb campaign began to trend in Perth. Always keen to be part of a hot topic, Perthonalities jumped on board faster than you could whip up a pavlova. As more and more became with the initiative, recipes began to be shared, and hospitality ventures initiated specials. Graphic designers interpreted the mission and created artwork to help support the industry. Within a matter of hours, everywhere you turned people were keen to #smashastrawb, and it became a global sensation. Yep, even CNN covered it!

It goes to show that when you keep things simple in a marketing campaign, people will respond. Don’t over complicate the message – if you are clear and open about the objective, people will latch on to the idea and make it their own.

#Smashastrawb is a campaign that everyone can get on board with – the barrier to entry is low which is another critical factor in viral success; it doesn’t matter where you live or what demographic category you fall into, strawberries are an easily accessible product, and the opportunity for use is endless.

From a technical point of view, the campaign works across all platforms and mediums – whether it was a still photo, a stop motion creation or a piece to camera, the types of content you could create were as varied as the uses for the fruit presented. No matter what platform you picked there was a way to be part of the greater story and share it in your own voice.

Plus, honestly, who doesn’t love strawberries?!

People responded because it is a product that evokes so much – everyone has memories with strawberries and to see an innocent little red bundle of joy marred by such controversy stuck in the hearts and minds of the masses.

Mix that with the fact that everyone loves a good hashtag cause and it’s a no-brainer that #smashastrawb would be a success. And maybe a little credit can go to traditional media for their support too.

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