January 25, 2011

Scriptoria Blog

Are you free to dance?

It’s always a joy to find a communication campaign that stands out from the crowd. Right now, we are really taken with Free To Dance

The campaign is recruiting volunteers to join a record-breaking, five-day dance in London in September to raise awareness and funds for freedom in Burma. The political situation there may be sombre, but the way in which the campaign engages with people is anything but.

There are four things that make the Free to Dance campaign work so well. One, the message is simple - use your democratic freedom to help get freedom for those who are denied it.

Two, the campaign centres on one person - Ben Hammond, a teacher, who travels up and down the country dancing in well known locations and rallying support. So Free to Dance has a human face, which makes the campaign website and blog immediately accessible.

Three, the website is well designed, with good-looking black and yellow branding, and it’s easy to use.

And finally, Free to Dance uses a universal activity - dancing - to get people engaged. It resists preaching about repression in Burma, although there is a link to Ben’s educational charity LearnBurma. Instead, the emphasis is on the big vision - getting as many people as possible dancing for Burma.

Of course, Ben is not the first to put dance clips on the internet. Matt Harding “danced badly around the globe” in a series of videos a few years ago and became a YouTube phenomenon, with 34 million hits. There’s more purpose to Ben’s dance craze than Matt’s, although both have instant appeal to an internet audience.

So good luck to Ben and his team! We hope your campaign goes viral and gets the publicity it deserves.

Photo: Ben Hammond and friends dancing on the summit of Mount Snowdon in Wales, UK. 

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