Sometimes it’s hard to think of a clever status update. And when that happens, you might end up posting something that, in retrospect, is a little … soul-crushingly banal. If you’re in a rut when it comes to spicy status updates, check out the Hemingway Hijacker. It turns your Facebook profile into a 24-hour tribute to the manly, alcohol-swilling literary idol, courtesy of The Hemingway Foundation.
So what kind of status updates will you share with the world as Ernest Hemingway? Well, for starters, when you sign up for the Hemingway Hijacker, it doesn’t update your account as though you’re Papa – so there’s no terse first-person updates like, “It is cold. But we were brave,” or anything along those lines. Instead, the program automatically posts about your adventures with the writing master.
Sample update: “Saw like a dozen lions today. These guys are everywhere! With Ernest Hemingway.” The Hijacker also geotags your posts in the far-flung locations Hemingway visited, from Havana to Kansas to Tanzania.
Advertising company Ogilvy & Mather created the campaign pro bono for The Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park, a foundation from the writer’s hometown western suburb of Chicago. Hemingway was supposed to have disparaged the neighborhood by saying “broad lawns, narrow minds,” but apparently they’ve forgiven him enough to launch a Facebook campaign in his honor (and, you know, it’s not proven that he said that.)
Ogilvy & Mather Creative Director Andrew Gall talked to Digital Trends about the campaign. We asked why they chose Facebook as the hijacking platform instead of Twitter or Instagram. “First and foremost, a big reason for undertaking this initiative was to expose more young people to the Hemingway Foundation. Many don’t even know the Foundation exists. Heck, some don’t even know who Hemingway was. So we needed to appeal to people who don’t know and don’t care about Hemingway in a way they’d be sure to notice. And because virtually every young person these days still uses Facebook is as the most common place to let people know what they’re up to, doing something with Facebook statuses seemed like the perfect solution. Further, people always want to be doing something interesting that will make their friends jealous. So it was the perfect fit. But most of all, using Facebook allowed us to create a range of Hemingway content, as we were able to affect written statuses as well as check-ins and photos.”
This is another example of advertisers turning to social media to create campaigns unique to the platforms. Like this Hemingway campaign with Twitter, advertisers across the Great Lakes in Toronto recently came up with an Instagram-specific ad campaign for the Toronto Silent Film Festival, showcasing how organizations can use the new mediums to stand out.