Story by Molly Longman
In support of World Cancer Day, which was last Tuesday, Chevrolet donated $1 to the American Cancer Society for every person on Facebook to “purple their profile,” up to $1 million.
Going purple was as easy as going to the Chevrolet website and pressing a button. The one million mark was surpassed, contributing to a cause and making social networking history.
Chevy originally got the word out during its Super Bowl commercial, “Life,” urging viewers to join them and the American Cancer Society to celebrate survivors and support those on the road to recovery.
The promotion worked for both Facebook and Twitter profiles, and the website urged participants to share the information on Facebook and use the hashtag “#PurpleYourProfile” on Twitter.
An abundance of Drake University students participated in this promotion.
“Most of my newsfeed was purple. I was happy to see so many Drake students getting involved,” said first-year student Kayla Schween.
Students heard about this promotion from friends, family members and Drake Colleges Against Cancer. CAC is a nationwide collaboration of college students, faculty and staff that partners with the American Cancer Society.
Some students speculated this promotion’s remarkable success was possible because the charity hit home for so many people.
“My cousin was diagnosed with cancer, and beat it. Cancer is something that affects everyone, either indirectly or directly,” said Drake student Rajat Puranik.
Using social media to get people involved in charities and campaigns is becoming a trend, and profiles pictures are becoming a venue that depicts much more than the latest selfie.
Last March, millions changed their profiles to a red cross in support of marriage equality, and many fraternities and sororities use their profiles to advertise for various philanthropy events around campus.
“Social media has become a big part of raising awareness charities,” said first-year accounting major Leigh Schissel said. She assumes this trend will continue and develop as social media becomes more and more relevant.