A New Kind of Red Revolution

426441_10151474919017211_1014117270_nIs Facebook looking a little red today? No, the world’s largest social media site isn’t experiencing a communist revolution, it’s coming alive in support of equal marriage.

It all started with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) who gave their normal blue and yellow logo a red makeover on Monday in support of equal marriage as the Supreme Court begins hearings today on California’s Proposition 8. They asked their supporters to do the same:

“Who’s wearing red tomorrow? Show your support for marriage equality — make your profile image red for tomorrow and check out www.hrc.org/StandForMarriage for more ways to get involved!”

Then the red revolution took off when social media powerhouse George Takei changed his profile picture this morning with the following message:

“For those friends wondering, this special “red” equality symbol signifies that marriage equality really is all about love. Thanks to the Human Rights Campaign for this effort. Please consider changing your profile today in support–esp if you are a straight ally”

His swanky new profile picture has gotten over 65,000 likes and 32,000 shares, a number that continues to rise throughout the day.

Takei isn’t the only big name involved. Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland, the first state in the nation to pass marriage equality through a referendum vote, wore red and changed his profile picture today in support . The Oatmeal (whom we’re big fans of) humorously included his favorite salted meat product to his profile:


“Changed my profile pic for marriage equality. Also, for bacon”

Even internet sensation Grumpy Cat got into the mix:


What can we learn from this virality? Three things:

1)      Give people a simple ask with an impact. It takes less than a minute to change a profile picture and show their support to all their friends. Through this act the Human Rights Campaign is giving people an opportunity to be a part of what could be a historic moment.

2)      Brand it! Everyone seeing that picture is seeing the Human Rights Campaign logo and if they see the logo again they are going to recognize it as a symbol of equality. It’s a great win for the HRC!

3)      Get power users involved. Even though viral movements are the result of millions of people jumping on board they are usually kick started by some celebrity. Thank Jimmy Kimmel for bringing Double Rainbow to the world. Thank George Takei for painting Facebook red.

Posted by: Robyn Stegman

Project Specialist

Campaign Consultation, Inc.

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