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Haitian Villagers Are Sure Sorry to Hear About Your #firstworldproblems

Agency DDB New York traveled to Haiti and gave a different voice to your tweeted #firstworldproblems to raise awareness for the cause of clean water.

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.

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6 Comments

  • Stitchpunk

    #firstworldproblems is supposed to be FUNNY? news to me. I always read it as a tag that acknowledges the triviality of the complaint - an apology for whinging about something minor when so many people face life and death issues every day.  Maybe DDB should try  doing some research...

  • RJH

    What a waste of money. You're seriously telling me that DDB NY couldn't find Haitians in Manhattan? 

  • AldenJole

    I've got this problem see. I've tweeted about #firstworldproblem and now people are harassing me. They even wan't me to give money. Damn, what a #firstworldproblem. There are bigger fish to fry. Get over it. No matter how you put it, the hashtag is people acknowledging their relative prosperity in the world.

    I suggest someone highjack the brand of #firstworldproblem. Start tweeting out "#firstworldproblem: I have to wash my clothes in the river". Or maybe something like "#firstworldproblem: My parents were killed by X and now I have to take care of my little brothers and sisters; I'm 12 years old". This is the first time i've heard of #firstworldproblem hashtag. I'm not much of twit. Take real #firstworldproblems and destroy that hashtag.P.S. I don't appreciate the stat of "5 tweets per second". It's misleading.

  • James Collier

    I like what DDB has done here; I greatly respect it. But I'm struggling a little with the private charter and large, polished vehicle shown here for transporting them around. 

    I mean, talk about #firstworldproblems!