“ThisIsMamming” is a breast cancer awareness platform that relies on the combined power of Instagram and online video to urge women to get their annual mammogram. Created by Michele Jaret and Michelle Lamont of 360i, the video encourages women to quite literally Instagram pictures of themselves “putting their boobs on things” to “embrace the awkwardness of mammograms”. The video stars comediennes Erin Daniels, Jillian Bell and Edi Patterson and has garnered over 400,000 views in the last month.
This attempt to use humor to highlight the importance of early detection has been cited as the latest craze to sweep the Internet. The New York Post went as far as to claim that “mamming”, has replaced “planking” and “tebowing” as the latest “let’s take pictures of me doing something awkward” trend.
As is the case with most viral videos, the project has received some amount of backlash from people who claim that “mamming” represents the trivialization of an extremely pressing sociocultural issue. Co-creator Lamont, however, is herself a breast cancer survivor, putting her in the unique position to construct a campaign such as this one. Ultimately, humor is known to be one of the most efficient means to trigger awareness. If seeing Jillian from Workaholics put her boobs on a parking meter reminds you to get a mammogram this year, well, mission accomplished.
This isn’t the first time a “gimmick” has been used to encourage breast cancer awareness. Many of you probably remember seeing your Facebook feeds littered with semi-ridiculous statuses about bra colors a couple years ago. The shift from a social media-centric to an online video-centric campaign highlights the growing potential of video. Its immense reach and capability to “inform and influence” is truly unparalleled.