Allow me to introduce you a little bit about ‘Speak Up’, the series of events initiated by Close Up, a leading oral care brand from Unilever.
The program is very interesting. The candidates, who are talented students in photography, music, drawing and basketball from all over Indonesia, should be nominated by several of his/her best friends. So they are not allowed to nominate themselves. The winners then would have exclusive lectures with the best practitioners in their specific fields. Close Up held four events in big cities to collect the participants.
I found the angle was very intriguing. It creates a branding correlation to friendship, which is one of the most important things in teenagers’ life. So if you are a cool teenager who values your friendship highly, then you are a Close Up guy! But does it really work in practice? How would we know that they are truly talented, as described (of course) by their best friends? Are they really passionate in what they do? Would the precious learning be any good for their best friends in return? Would it make the friendship even more valuable for them?
There are no easy answers. In my personal experience, the learning process had no problem at all. Most of the lecturers had quite good fun (Dewiq in music, Chris Lee in drawing, three national athletes in basketball, and myself in, well, what else, photography). The organizer also had various events to follow, including a press conference, live music and some workshops/mini seminars for public (the final event was in Yogyakarta). Two brand ambassadors of Close Up were there: Christian Sugiono and MTV VJ Rianti). I am sure that all the teenagers had discovered a lot to learn, but talking about the friendship, which happened to be the very center value of all activities, it is hard to tell.