Point of view: Let's get intimate

Molly Flatt

One question I frequently get asked at my agency 1000heads is whether certain brands or industries are just too taboo to benefit from a word-of-mouth campaign.

Having worked with everything from tampons to nit shampoo, my answer is always no. I'm frequently amazed by what people are not only willing, but eager to discuss publicly; and our boundaries seem to be dissolving more each year.

A good example is healthcare. Pharma and medical companies have traditionally struggled to engage in social while navigating issues of confidentiality, competition and even embarrassment. But one of the big success stories of the spring was Facebook's collaboration with the UK and US organ donation services to encourage new donors to register and post on their Timelines. Fuelled by a sense of competitive do-goodery, Facebook users duly flooded the site with updates. One organisation in California reported a 700% increase in new donor registrations within hours.