Motown icon Smokey Robinson, social media savvy celeb activist? That's right, the iconic crooner known for hits such as I Heard it Through the Grapevine this week launched Smoke Alarm, described as a “a social media-based emergency broadcast system for causes.”
Robinson is asking people to “Donate your social media feeds and help sound the alarm when projects need attention.” In partnership with ad agency Crispin Porter & Bogusky and David Clark, the idea is to create "Cause Swarm" as people contribute to specific causes activated by hitting "send" on a "Smoke Alarm" from his Robinson’s already active Twitter account, @Smokey_Robinson.
"I want to promote the basic idea that all people should have equal access to simple things like food, water and medicine. My inspiration comes from icons of equality I have known over the years, like Jackie Robinson, Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr.,” said Robinson. "In this digital age, we have the tools to level the playing field for those in need, so I'm calling on my friends and fans to lend their voices to mine, so we can collectively make a difference."
Celebs who join the Smoke Alarm feed will also post alerts on their Facebook pages. "The most effective way to defeat an opponent is to overwhelm or swarm them," Clark said, and the alarm will be sounded no more than three times a year for "shovel ready" projects.
He already has the support of James Franco, Eva Longoria, Hilary Duff, Daryl Hall and Brandy Norwood, representing a combined 7 million Twitter followers. "I'm proud to stand with him as he breaks new ground in philanthropy like he's done countless times in music," Longoria told CNN. "What makes Smoke Alarm so powerful is the man and heart behind it." Added celeb activist Elton John, "I have admired Smokey Robinson as a true artist, and man of integrity for decades now. As a friend of Smokey's, I wish him every success with such an important, innovative and smart way to raise the alarm for those who have no voice."
Robinson made the announcement at the Cannes Lions festival, and said the first Smoke Alarm will be sent out near the end of this year, most likely targeting clean water to communities in need. Follow Robinson's Smoke Alarm on Facebook and Twitter.