It’s one of the easiest hashtag jokes to make on Twitter, although it’s debatable whether it was ever even funny in the first place. Now agency DDB New York is trying to stamp out #firstworldproblems altogether. Or at least make you think about them in another way.
While taken individually #FirstWorldProblems jokes may seem innocuous, but according to DDB New York, there are approximately five of the tweets per second. The cumulative effect of seeing so many of them so frequently creates an online atmosphere with neither the sensitivity nor awareness to deal with the serious social problems that lay on the other side of the gags. In response, the agency partnered with the nonprofit organization WATERisLIFE in an effort to harness the hashtag in the service of those who are suffering from other, less hilarious, kinds of problems.
Recently, members of the agency traveled with a film crew to Haiti and filmed a variety of locals reading aloud a series of #FirstWorldProblem tweets. In total, 30 of these custom response videos were made, and DDB New York has since been tweeting them right back to the original #FirstWorldProblems authors.
“I’m sorry you were awoken by your cleaning lady. I hope today is better,” one of the Haitian responders says. Additionally, these messages close with a call to action, asking the joke makers to donate money to WATERisLIFE, which goes toward creating water solutions and rebuilding communities. Then perhaps next time, they’ll just stick to posting Family Guy quotes or making jokes that end in “That’s What She Said.”
Watch the First World Problems anthem video below and see some behind-the-scenes images provided by the agency in the slide show above.