Brands can learn alot from about sparking movements from political uprisings. One is going on right now in Iran post the dodgy elections over there as hundreds of thousands of Iranian youth hit the streets in protest, powered by the interconnectivity of Facebook and Twitter. Irans draconian internet filtering is no match for the 33% of Iranians between the ages of 15 and 29 who are interconnected and politicised by virtual social networks. It’s been nicknamed the ‘Green Revolution’ as Hussein Mousavi’s ( opposition leader) supporters have adopted the colour green for their movement ( a strong Islamic colour).
The mobilising power of Facebook and Twitter, combined with the face to face solidarity of the gatherings and protests is creating a frenzy of conversations and actions in Iran seeking a recount of the votes. In the wake of the contested election the Iranian state has harnessed every last iota of its coercive power to disrupt communications and prevent organised protests. Iran has more blogs per capita than any other country so it will be interesting to see what happens when the Iranian government ‘turns off’ the internet and shuts down the mobile phone towers. Apparently Moussavi is now encouraging youth to ‘connect’ via landlines, one public utility the government won’t shut down. It is yet to be seen if this youth uprising will work in achieving their goal.
The key things brands can learn
for this type of uprising led by digital media, is that youth mobilise around the promise of CHANGE, just like American youth mobilised in huge numbers around Obama in 2008. Show how you can change the status quo and people will follow you.