Who’s your favourite cartoon character?

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If you’re confused because your Facebook news feed is filled with people changing their profile pictures to cartoon characters, you’re probably not alone.

It’s all part of a very clever campaign by the NSPCC to fill Facebook with happy childhood memories and raise awareness of the work that the charity does to eradicate cruelty to children.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen this kind of savvy social media initiative to create fantastic exposure for a charity. Breast Cancer Awareness caused confusion and grabbed attention when women updated their status with ‘I like it on the sofa’ or similar after being asked asked where they like to keep their purse. Similarly, in January this year, you may have noticed that there were colour updates as ladies told the world what colour bra they were wearing that day.

It goes without saying that Facebook is perfect for rapidly spreading a message. The breast cancer ideas caught on because of the cheeky connotations and intrigue around what on earth people were banging on about. The NSPCC has tapped into another subject that gets tongues wagging and unites people – nostalgia. On the face of it, it’s just another cute stunt that’s generating some buzz… but peel away the layers and it’s really quite brilliant.

Though a real departure from the more hard-hitting campaigns on child cruelty that we’re used to, this idea is bang on message. The cartoon characters will evoke fond memories, which will in turn remind people that every child is entitled to a happy childhood. If nothing else, it will have boosted awareness of the charity and its mission.  Given its festive timing, however, I’d be surprised if it didn’t generate some extra donations too. What’s even better is that it will have cost nothing more than a bright idea to put this charity’s message in front of millions. Bravo!