Alice Wong

How do markets use lemons to change  lives?

How do markets use lemons to change lives?

 

#KnowYourLemons, a social media based campaign launched by the charity  Worldwide Breast Cancer, used lemons to educate women about the symptoms of breast cancer and the process for early detection.

Discussing breast cancer is a taboo because in many countries breasts are sexassociated and images that contain nipples are highly censored. To tackle this problem, this campaign creatively displays breasts using lemons as a metaphor to reduce the embarrassment for women to talk about sex topics in public. It successfully conveys sensitive information in a light-hearted way.

Health messages are typically delivered through text that contains medical jargons, which are difficult for laymen to comprehend. Not only are Visual images with text are more engaging, they are also easier to process (​Nelson, Reed & McEvoy,  1977).​ To make these important information accessible to everyone,  #KnowYourLemons defined a clear statement and employed visuals to communicate symptoms of breast cancer from a patient’s perspective. The 12  signs of breast cancer are succinctly summed up in the image below:

©2020 Know Your Lemons Foundation, Inc.

©2020 Know Your Lemons Foundation, Inc.

 

©2020 Know Your Lemons Foundation, Inc. 

Why is this campaign more effective than Hong Kong’s breast cancer campaign? 

Local NGOs like Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation, tend to implement celebrity endorsement and medical specialists to encourage audiences to donate and attend their seminars. While these marketing strategies could raise public awareness, they fail to address public ignorance about breast cancer.

© 2021 Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation

© 2021 Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation

© 2021 Hong Kong Breast Cancer Foundation

 

Nonprofits tend to rely on traditional distribution channels such as TVC and posters, and are reluctant to invest in social media. This in turn hinders the opportunity to reach a large pool of people that are interested in the services. On the contrary, #KnowYourLemons adopted excellent social media strategies on  Instagram. Through the highly shareable contents, the lemon images have gone viral and educated over 1 billion people around the world.

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©2020 Know Your Lemons Foundation, Inc. 

#KnowYourLemons also adopted a new way to fundraise: Utilizing ​Instagram donation sticker and button​. This way of fundraising allows patrons to donate within a few clicks, which is much more efficient and effective in helping them overcome the psychological hurdle of filling in typical donation forms. This also takes advantage of consumers’ impulse purchase psychology (​Iyer, Blut,  Xiao & Grewal, 2019)​. Moreover, people who have donated could share their act with an “I Donated” sticker, which could encourage their followers to donate as well. From the nonprofits’ perspective, transaction fees are not required and  100% of the proceeds go to them. As such, the campaign benefits from the utilisation of social media.

©2020 Know Your Lemons Foundation, Inc.

©2020 Know Your Lemons Foundation, Inc.

©2020 Know Your Lemons Foundation, Inc. 

 

Future of social media campaigns for nonprofits 

Since COVID restricted our social interactions, everyone has to adapt to live streaming and online chat. Live streaming is expected to stay even as the COVID situation improves. Nonprofits can interact with their customers through live streaming to announce or even carry out activities and events. Furthermore,  audience attention spans are short, so brands can start by creating Instagram  Stories and place Ads to boost engagement levels. Social media marketing will continue to play a dominant role for most brands. As a result, it is crucial for non-profits to invest more money into social media marketing.

 

Reference:

Nelson, D. L., Reed, V. S., & McEvoy, C. L. (1977). Learning to order pictures and words: A model of sensory and semantic encoding. ​Journal of Experimental  Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 3​(5), 485–497.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0278-7393.3.5.485

Iyer, G. R., Blut, M., Xiao, S. H., & Grewal, D. (2019). Impulse buying: a meta-analytic review. ​Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science​, 48, 384–404.  doi:10.1007/s11747-019-00670-w