Top Ad unit 728 Ć— 90


The Name Changer

Sandra Eichner is extremely creative and intelligent. While she is apprehensive to boast about this, she will admit it when pressed. Her successful career in Germany as a Senior Copywriter working with domestic and international clients like Mercedes-Benz, Google, and Lamborghini, followed by a move to the U.S. to work on global giants like American Airlines, Infiniti, adidas Golf and a multitude of others have vetted her preeminence in the field. Still, one of the greatest indicators of her aforementioned attributes is ingenuity. Proof of Eichner’s possession of this is found in her work on “The Name Changer.” This may be the most clever and benevolent use of social media to date. Working for socially conscious and proactive client Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk /German Children's Aid, Sandra was inspired to come up with The Name Changer. This campaign and movement literally transformed the culture and, even if the effect may not be permanent, it set the template for the possibility of a kinder society. By using the same attributes that had been used in large part for a negative effect, Sandra and Juliana Paracencio flipped the script to do the inverse and created a sensation in the process. Social media and the stories of its use for cyber bullying are hard to escape from. As someone who grew up in a foreign country, Eichner (Hungarian born and German raised) had a number of experiences with bullies but regards them as passing moments compared to the anonymity that today’s cyber bullies use to attack others. Sandra worked with Juliana Paracencio on The Name Changer to promote the idea of self-acceptance and self-empowerment. Paracencio communicates, “Both Sandra and I are incredibly proud of this project, probably more than anything else we have worked on together. We're also incredibly grateful for the relentless support of Dörte (Spengler-Ahrens, ECD and CCO at Jung von Matt), our team and the soccer players who were part of its manifestation. It shows that having a great idea is not enough; you can’t just wish for things to change, you have to do them yourself and take action. It’s not fitting to say that Sandra has a way with words, while this is true…it’s more accurate to say that she has a way with ideas and finds a way to use words to make these ideas come to life. Her talent is finding the way to communicate an idea that allows you to see it more completely than just using words that most would choose. It’s very special.”

The Name Changer had a very clearly defined goal and went about achieving the desired effect by a very unexpected approach, an approach that was not without great difficulty. The goal was to give confidence to bullied kids and empower them to stand up for themselves. What better way to discard the idea that you are helpless and alone to change this situation than to create a sense of instant community? When you are in Germany, who better to create a massive awareness than football (soccer) stars? Sandra’s idea was to approach certain players and request they change the name on their jerseys to the hurtful names they were referred to by bullies in their own youth. This self-effacing embrace of and simultaneous rejection of the monikers would allow those being bullied to see that they were not alone in this experience and would also show bullies that the individuals they were oppressing might someday grow up to be respected and admired celebrities on the world stage.

The most coverage and impact that The Name Changer could create in terms of international exposure would be during the Hero Cup. This 2016 competition brought together soccer heroes from several countries for a friendly tournament that was more for the fans than the trophy. This was the ideal environment to make a statement about human connection, support, and showing that bullied kids have more power than they think. Many players donned jerseys for the game with the names they had been called; players such as Richard Golz (“Fatty”), Stefan Schnoor (“Fatty/Dumpling”), Christoph Metzelder (“Slowpoke”), Paul Janke (“Potato”), & others with nicknames like “Wimp”, “Chump”, “Little Mexican”, “Dumb Crumb”, “Asian Amateur”, and “Goulash.” The sports commentators and stadium announcer played along, using the players' nicknames. The players also changed their social media handles to these nicknames, taking the message into the very space where bullies roam free like nowhere else. But that was only the beginning: the event caught the attention of the country's major mass media, whose TV and press reports amplified the message, allowing it to reach a total of almost 11 million people.

It’s rare that anyone receives instant gratification but The Name Changer achieved this for many people, Sandra Eichner in particular. As someone who experienced bullying and became a respected and admired professional, being oppressed by others was long behind her but when she was afforded the opportunity to make a change in the lives of others experiencing a similar situation, she used the talent she had in an altruistic manner. There may have been compensation involved for her but she admits that the most meaningful to her were the comments from young people who commented in droves on social media that they felt a connection and a respite that seemed impossible to them. Social media, like any tool, can be used in a benevolent manner or maliciously. The Name Changer proves that the choice is up to those who choose to start acting on this.
The Name Changer Reviewed by JaamZIN on 7:20:00 PM Rating: 5
All Rights Reserved by Me and My Crazy Mind © 2015 - 2020
Designed by Sweetheme

Contact Form


Email *

Message *

Powered by Blogger.