DDB’s New York chief creative officer Matt Eastwood has created what might just be the ad of the year. The new ad campaign is from the charity Water is Life and features Haitian children and adults. But here’s the catch and what has made this ad an instantly viral; the Haitians are reading the everyday problems of first world citizens which they file under the Twitter tag of #FirstWorldProblems!
The video titled First World Problems Anthem, is one minute long and features the regular ‘complaints’ that first world citizens makes. It is also a very popular hashtag on twitter where users generally tweet about things like their neighbors WiFi being blocked and their phone charger being too far from them.
With this ad, Matt Eastwood has, quite successfully, been able to capture the imagination of twitterati and it is no wonder why. Heated leather seats, not knowing your maid’s name and getting pickles in your sandwich when you wanted none; are all pretty far away from the post-earthquake riddled, shanty towns of Haiti and her people.
For his efforts, Matt is now at the receiving end of a lot of criticism. People are saying that the irony behind the hash tag #FirstWorldProblems was completely missed by the DDB’s research team. The #FirstWorldProblems tag is used to make sure people are aware about the luxury of their problems. Matt is well aware of that and has said that he and his team totally understood the irony of the tag and the meme, and that the purpose was to reshape the intention behind it and to eliminate the tag altogether. This is the first time an advertiser has attempted to eliminate, rather than promote a trending hashtag, according to a press release from DDB NY.
DDB states that it hopes to "eliminate the "#FirstWorldProblems hashtag on Twitter," because it "showcases concerns that seem important to those living in wealthy, industrialized countries, yet are, fact, trivial compared to the issues faced by those struggling to survive in many parts of the world."
The derelict surroundings of the people, the utter obvious poverty and the lack of pretense that’s shown is what makes the DDB NY advert great. It shoves a mirror in your face – of how unproblematic your problems are when compared with real world problems.