What Color Is Your Bra? — Learn Social Media By Example

Social Media Campaign Stat Box

: What Color Is Your Bra Campaign

: Cause Rallying

: Women Worldwide

: Emotional

: January, 2010

Breast cancer is an uncontrolled growth of breast cells. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Breast cancer is second only to lung cancer as a cause of cancer deaths in American women.”

Just think about the many things that might cause the wear and tear that leads to abnormal cell growth—pollutants, hormones, pesticides, smoking, alcohol use, obesity, stress….” Marisa Weiss M.D., president and founder, breast radiation oncologist, Philadelphia, PA (Learn more)

In order to help spread awareness of this life-threatening disease, this campaign was initiated. Although the campaign’s origins are yet unknown to us, “What Color is Your Bra?” simply urged women to post their bra color on Facebook.

Campaign Objectives & Goals:

In January 2010, many men started wondering why many of their Facebook female friends were putting different colors as their Facebook status updates. No one knew it then but it was a discrete shout out to women all over the world. The shout out was for breast cancer awareness!

Facebook Bra Color Updates

A blogger for awareness of breast cancer reported the following: “I was confused all morning,  figured I’d sort it out sooner or later… So, like every good Facebooker, I played along by peeking in my shirt and updating my status: Beige. What I turned up on the Internet is that the purpose of this color thing is to simply raise awareness of breast cancer“.

The campaign was spread through Facebook messages that were circulated by the females. The message was as follows: “Something fun is going on. Write the color of your bra in your status. Just the color, nothing else. And send this on to ONLY women no men. It will be neat to see if this will spread the wings of cancer awareness. It will be fun to see how long it takes before the men wonder why the women have a color in their status…..LOL!”

Generated Buzz:

The campaign went viral and it was definitely an approach to raising awareness that had not been heard of before. Everyone was stalking about it!

Many bloggers wrote about the campaign and got tens of comments in response to their posts. You can simply type ‘Facebook bra color’ on Google and see the tons of posts that have been published about the campaign!

Even Twitter was, and still is, buzzing with the topic:

Twitter Bra Color Buzz

Furthermore, and if I remember correctly, almost every girl on Facebook I know participated in this campaign. I did as well and my status update then was: Black!

Here’s a look into some of the fan number on related Facebook pages:

Some Facebook Bra Color Related Pages

Campaign Reactions:

While the intentions might have been good, critics responded by calling the campaign confusing, degrading to women, and ineffective.

  • In the age of exposed bra straps and outerwear as underwear, this campaign doesn’t strike me as very risqué—typing in the word “beige” is a far cry from dirty talk. But ultimately, what’s the point of it? Almost all the people who are updating their status boxes with bra colors are doing only that. They’re not saying a word about cancer. This isn’t awareness or education; it’s titillation. Mary Carmichael
  • Hell’s bells, why do so many “awareness”-raising campaigns for breast cancer have to be so stupid? Jessica Wakeman

Opinion & Lessons Learned:

The idea of developing breast cancer freaks me out to the bone! However,, and despite the virality of this “campaign”, I remember when I received the message in my Facebook inbox all I thought was: Are we teasing the boys for kicks?

Just as many others had commented, I agree that there should have been more to this campaign. There should have been some information about breast cancer, maybe some statistics or some supporting blogs which provide useful details about what should be done in terms of check-ups and protection. Only then it would have been effective.

So, what can we learn for this?

  • In cause-rallying campaigns, there must be supportive information in order to make a change.
  • Fun is good but it needs some facts and direction so people will be able to appreciate the value of your campaign.
  • Facebook is a catchy way to spread and promote a campaign, especially one which calls for a simple action.

Finally, and to wrap up: Have you ever heard of this campaign? Did you participate in it? What do you think was missing?

Looking forward to your insights and feedback down below…

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Comments and Reactions

4 responses to “What Color Is Your Bra? — Learn Social Media By Example”

  1. Amer Kawar says:

    I agree too, “there should have been more to this campaign”. It was fun trying to decipher it when it started though :)

  2. jimrudnick says:

    like my Harley, it's black, eh!



  3. M.Bamieh says:

    I remember this one… it was amusing but very vague, and thats what make ask how would knowing your friend's bra color raise awareness of breast cancer

  4. sarah says:

    Nice post Beirut – i agree with you that sending the exact message is imp and just by updating your status on facebook doesnt educate women about breast cancer. Though it might have turned viral but then such things always go viral. Awareness to the causes is more imp. our last years' post was quite informative on breast cancer http://www.biggtech.com/lifestyle/go-pink-in-october-breast-cancer-awareness-month_1046.html

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