Red Cross setting Facebook ablaze with its fire-awareness campaign

The disaster-aid organization strikes home with a graphic depiction on Facebook and by teaming up with news websites.

It would be hard and pretty dangerous for the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago to demonstrate the effects of house fires on every Chicago Tribune and Mashable reader’s physical home. But what about their online homes? That is, their Facebook pages?

Starting March 8, people who click a link allowing the Red Cross access to their Facebook pages will experience a few seconds of what it feels like to lose their cherished possessions to fire, as their Facebook photos digitally burn away in front of them.

“We had a discussion about the fact that it needed to be disruptive, and it needed to happen in a place that people thought was personal and safe,” says Jackie Mitchell, director of marketing and communications at Greater Chicago Red Cross. “The fact that Facebook had photos and personal relationships represented in the medium made it a perfect medium for it.”

The goal, Mitchell says, is to inform people that fires do more damage and hurt more people than any other type of disaster. The damage to Facebook photos won’t be permanent, but the hope is that the message will.

Fighting (real) fire with (virtual) fire

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