Take the Plunge
DefeatDD has created a lot of content over the years, from in-the-field videos and playful animations to reports and infographics. So in 2018, we asked ourselves: how can we use the resources we already have to engage new friends, colleagues, and influencers to join the movement?
Our answer: an immersive pop-up experience introducing the dangers of diarrheal disease and the potential of simple interventions that we aptly named, Take the Plunge: A Pop-up Experience to Help Children Thrive. Through an in-person event, we reached new, energetic advocates in Washington, DC, to help spread the message of the dangers of diarrhea to Capitol Hill, the media, and other international development organizations. And we took the party to our digital channels, too, for our advocates outside the DC area. Our event partners, NJI Media and FamousDC, designed a creative, visually stunning, and unforgettable experience for those who attended or followed along online.
Highlights of the May 2, 2018 event included:
- A projected digital backdrop of moving toilet paper rolls, soap suds, puzzle pieces, inspirational words, and other creative images. Guests used the backdrop to take Instagram-worthy photos, videos, and Boomerangs to share online with the hashtags #TakeThePlunge and #DefeatDD.
- A “theater” experience for guests to watch two of our favorite DefeatDD blockbusters: The impact of a toilet: A family story and DefeatDD: Superheroes vs. Villains.
- Cheeky puns galore featured on napkins, menus, and event signs.
- A technicolor-painted toilet, which was a surprise from our event partner – and proudly sits in our office today.
- Interactive game and activity booths from partners including Shot@Life, the Global Handwashing Partnership, and Take on Typhoid.
- The debut of a new video introducing the issue of diarrheal disease to guests.
- Stirring keynote speeches from USAID’s Serge Raharison and congressional staffer M.A. Keifer, who each brought unique, personal perspectives on the burden of diarrheal disease.
Several media and influencers were in attendance and shared their #TakeThePlunge takeaways on Twitter, Facebook, and our then-recently launched Instagram., and social engagement around the event included postings by Politico, Rachel Adler, CheckListDC, and others.
After the event, we encouraged attendees and followers to share our video and other visual resources in order to generate broader awareness about the global burden of diarrheal disease and encourage greater attention and investment.
As we’ve learned over the years, getting people on board with advocating for an issue like diarrhea often requires a little creativity and a little humor. We’re sure glad we took the plunge to defeat diarrhea – and through this unique event, we think we convinced a few others to do the same.
Because after all…