Do you like stories that restore your faith in humanity? For example, collections like this at Buzzfeed? Number 7 was familiar to me and perhaps to you too. It is odd finding new references to the letter my daughter Lily painstakingly typed over a year ago.
I have to concede though, the Giraffe Bread story did turn out to have many ingredients of a great meme and we do get spikes on the blog here as the story breaks in new arenas and languages. Tumblr fell prey not long ago. It is odd seeing how people like passing on a story they like in waves.
The story of the letters went viral on Twitter last year (thanks to a university friend tweeting images from this blog) and then on Facebook in January, care of a chap in Singapore called Parker Lim who I do not know. Many people started making comments that the bread should be renamed, but I had nothing to do with this. Sainsbury’s called me up shortly after and told me they had decided to change the name from Tiger to Giraffe Bread. It is still selling as Giraffe Bread in shops and is a huge PR success for them. Newspapers and radio stations started reporting the story, but we are far more impressed by the reporting skills of the general public than the newspaper journalists, many of whom clearly didn’t check the facts. For Lily’s sake as she gets older, we have printed out international copies of the story we have found and other positive reactions we liked. We have not wanted media coverage, and would far rather deflect the story’s attention toward helping others. I am also aware of trolling on the topic and am keen that Lily is protected going forward from hurtful sites. As a result, we are making very little of the story around her, other than making a point of visiting Lili the Adopted Giraffe at the zoo, and enjoying playing with some Active Kids equipment that Sainsbury’s sent to her toddler group at church. The toddlers made a giraffe collage to send to thank the kind people at Sainsbury’s too. Pretty good I thought!
I have to be honest and say that despite the human race’s propensity to stupidity and evil, most people want to hear good things most of the time, rather than negative things. We crave hope. We delight in success. We want stories that are punchy and positive.
And so Giraffe Bread is not going away any time soon. I have realised that it is likely to be revisited in new waves from time to time, and if this brings joy and hope, wonderful. If it also prompts some to click on our link to help feed children in Africa, even better.