Andy Ridley Shares How Social Media Helped Earth Hour At #YMF

An article that covers Andy Ridley's thoughts on How Social Media helped Earth Hour At the MTV Youth Marketing Forum, 2012

2012-04-27 17.00.32

You don’t find many events in India that give a platform where you can listen to the amazing journey of global campaigns and moreover inspire the youth. But the MTV Youth Marketing yesterday at the The Lalit International, Mumbai managed this with élan. I was glad to be a part of one of the coolest conferences ever or rather lets say a Friday party that started from 11 in the morning with a bunch of speakers shared their inspiring journey and trying to decode “The Power Of One”, with some amazing food, music and drinks to get you through the evening. The “Stay Raw” image reflected throughout.

Andy Ridley at #YMF
Andy Ridley at #YMF

Andy Ridley, Co-Founder at Earth Hour flew from Australia to share his journey, the motivation to start Earth Hour and to share what is the power of one. In midst of this, he stressed on how social media has helped Earth Hour, both internally and externally.

Andy and a team of 8 people with a dog had a tough road before they could start Earth Hour, which he eventually did in 2007. Not only was it challenging to make people aware that there would be severe crisis if the Earth is not protected but at the same time support was hard to come by. He went ahead and shared how things have changed with time and how has the movement captured the emotions of people all over the world. ‘Two key drivers have been People and Social Media’, believes Andy.

Andy shared the amazing story of Earth Hour Libya where two teenagers teamed up to organize Libya’s first Earth hour event, which saw the lights switched off in the former King’s Castle, now the National Museum. Andy added that ‘Social Media has been a great driver in spreading the word for an event like that in a country which has just come out of war’. Inspiring indeed!

Moving further, he spoke about how tying up with celebrities like Sachin Tendulkar helped in spreading the word in the Indian continent. Further on, Andy spoke about “I Will If you Will” campaign where the team had tied up with Youtube to support the initiative. Results were impressive, 2000 people tied up with this campaign with zero costs involved in such a campaign. The challenge platform on Youtube reached 2 million views within 14 hours and it also went viral especially in Asia. Talking bit more on this campaign, Andy shared the example of how Heather Swan, dual world record holder wing suit pilot, took the challenge that she will leap off a cliff if 1000 people go vegetarian for a week. To know more about such interesting stories, click here.

Andy also shared about how influential people have associated with this great cause though he also highlighted the fact that it was never easy in the beginning. He shared the story of Miranda Kerr, an influential Australian model who tied up with the Earth Hour campaign along with KORA organics and CBRE who came forward to set a global challenge for Earth Hour 2012.

Besides this, Andy also stressed that Earth Hour is now more about local challenges. For example, Earth Hour in China means Air Pollution, in Brazil it means Amazon problem, etc. He added that social media has been a great driver externally and has given a platform where people like Nelson Mandela are supporting the cause and spreading the word by a small but a very effective tweet. Greece used Facebook to spread the message and so did 150 countries across the globe, harnessing the power of social media platforms.

[pullquote id=”lhipull” class=”center_pull”]Let us stand together to make our world a sustainable source for our future as humanity on this planet” #NelsonMandela #EarthHour”[/pullquote]

Internally , social media has also been a great tool and he shared that using Yammer has been useful for their team. Yammer allows to connect them with the Earth Hour campaign which is externally connected to the social networks along with the different brands and bodies supporting the campaign.

“Possibilities are limitless if we can imagine and the movement is getting bigger every year”, said Andy, as he encouraged the crowd to support it more, before opening the floor for an enchanting Q&A session.