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Your favourite Osocio posts of 2011

Your favourite Osocio posts of 2011

What’s interesting about blogging at Osocio is that we often cover campaigns that mainstream marketing blogs do not. A look at our 10 most-visited posts of 2011 shows the diversity of our mandate, but it also proves the old adage that sex sells…

1. The best billboard in the world

Our #1 post of 2011, however, had nothing to do with sex, shock, or even a brand. It’s this anti-billboard that was erected at a Canada-US border crossing near Blaine, Washington:


“Non-Sign II” is a sculpture by Seattle’s Lead Pencil Studio, commissioned by the United States government. You can read more about it, and see more views, at the original post from last February, “The best billboard in the world”.

2. Slut Walk

Our second most-read post was about a small protest planned in Toronto, Canada, after a member of the local police force made a fatefully inappropriate statement about sexual assault, “women should avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized.”

Slut Walk

The protest, called Slut Walk, really hit a nerve with women worldwide. As a third-wave feminist movement, the Toronto street protest was soon emulated in other North American cities. It spread rapidly through the Western and English-speaking worlds, and eventually beyond. Wherever it went, Slut Walk was locally organized and independent. But that didn’t stop it from being accused, in the United States and Canada, of being a “white” movement.

We covered the movement several times, as it was one of the major activism stories of 2011. But it’s always interesting to go back and read that first Slut Walk post with the awareness of what would come.

3. My big book of beautiful breasts

The third most-read post of the year was the type that usually attracts lots of views: breast nudity in the service of breast cancer activism. Perhaps the headline, “My big book of beautiful breasts,” attracted more voyeurs than activists.


But the book itself was a serious effort by Australian-American photographer Peter Bruce, for a serious cause.

See the other seven top posts, as well as some interesting year-end stats, after the break.

Our fourth most-read post was Beware! They are Educated!


It’s a great campaign by SAIH, the Norwegian Students’ and Academics’ International Assistance Fund (Studentenes og Akademikernes Internasjonale Hjelpefond). The Iranian Embassy in Norway was offended by the depiction of Ayatollah Khomeini ad, and made an official protest. Interestingly, by year’s end two of the last three living dictators lampooned in the ad would be dead. Only Robert Mugabe remains standing.

Number five, for 2011, was one for the Art Directors — Dyslexie: a typeface for dyslectics.

Project Dyslexie

It’s an interesting Dutch project by Christian Boer of Studiostudio, who created an entire family of fonts that decrease reading errors by people with dyslexia by incorporating features that allow them to be recognized even when rotated mentally by the reader. Really interesting stuff.

Our sixth most popular post was another one that appealed to both creatives and activists: Help Japan III. It was part of a series of posters by Art Directors and agencies around the world, created to raise awareness and money to help Japan recover from the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami.

Number seven was a funny one, “Katherine Heigl really hates balls,” about a PSA for animal sterilization on Funny or Die. In it, the American actress makes half of the world population cringe as she graphically describes how she would like to cut the testicles off of all human males, too.

Number eight, “Nudity for Charity: Crowdsourcing voyeuristic activism,” attracted lots of views. But the project itself turned out to be a hoax. It had asked ordinary people to submit nude pictures to raise money for their favourite charity.

Number nine also dealt with nudity, but not the kind that anyone would find sexy. We called the shock campaign by DDB, Mozambique, for Associação da Luta Contra o Cancer, “Truly disturbing breast health ads.” If you really want to see why, click the link (nudity).

Number ten in our most-read list shows how interesting social marketing has become in the second decade of the 21st Century. A small anti-racism Halloween campaign, “We’re a culture, not a costume”, by Ohio University Students Teaching Against Racism (STARS) went viral as it was mutated into a parody meme. Nonetheless, the conversation about the appropriateness of using ethnic stereotypes as “funny” costumes travelled the world with it.

That’s it for our top posts of 2011. Marc also found some interesting statistics about our content and how you came upon it:

Most popular category pages (collection pages)
1. womens issues
2. animal rights
3. abuse
4. drugs
5. environment

Most used search queries in search engines resulting a visit to osocio
1. osocio
2. kamasutra
3. beautiful breasts
4. slut walk
5. dyslexie font
6. nuclear 9/11 leo burnett
7. but on meth it is
9. social advertising
10. on meth it is

Sex, drugs, and Osocio. Hmmm….

Thanks to all of my fellow Osocio writers who have volunteered their time to make this one of the most influential social/cause marketing blogs in the world: Daniel Jaszczak, Aurélia Courtot, Noah Scalin, Armando Alves, Tatjana Vukic, Meena Kadri and Reuben Turner. And to Osocio’s founding writer, editor and champion, Marc van Gurp, for giving us all a place to be heard.

But most of all, thanks to you — for reading, commenting and sharing all year long. Have a happy and safe time tonight, ringing out 2011 and ringing in 2012. We’ll be back when the worldwide hangover subsides.

I am Creative Director at Acart Communications, a Canadian Social Issues Marketing agency. Read more