An ad for Water Is Life that puts most of our complaints and thoughts in a new light.

DDB New York has created an ad for the Haitian charity “Water Is Life” that humiliates whiners on Twitter who use the “#Firstworldproblems” hashtag to complain about life’s trivial challenges.

The campaign attempts to eradicate the ironic #firstworldproblems meme — where people tweet about such life burdens as non-heated leather seats or forgetting their maid’s last name — and, in the process, raise awareness about serious developing world issues.

Matt Eastwood, Chief Creative Officer at DDB New York said

“We’re not setting out to humiliate people who have used the #FirstWorldProblems hashtag. Rather, the project encourages people to think before they tweet. There are much more important problems in the world than not getting a hot-enough latte in the morning. By highlighting real world problems we hope to encourage people to give to those in real need.”

Many responses that the video is getting are quite negative, e.g. “To use a guilt trip as a way of generating a conscience for these problems is just wrong.  The wealth of other nations IS NOT the cause of poverty in others.  To continue to believe the zero sum game fallacy and to use guilt as a motivator is misleading and deceitful.”

That’s hardly the message of the video. I don’t understand how one can read a zero-sum game into it, or conclude that the wealth of other nations is the cause of this kind of poverty.

It’s about reminding us in the First World to put our daily hassles in perspective. If anything, it tells us to appreciate how good we already have it, and to consider ourselves in a position to help those who don’t even have something as basic as clean water.



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