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'Downton Abbey' Cast Responds to Viral Snapshot
By: Jennifer Graber
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Downton Abbey, a period drama airing on BBC, has certainly taken the television world by storm. The popular show has inspired Internet memes, fabulous costumes, viewing parties, and much more. The show has also amassed a large following of loyal fans who anxiously await new episodes. So it is no surprise that social media is set afire when sneak-peek photos are released. Fans just cannot wait to get a glimpse of what is to come on Downton Abbey. The latest cast photos were no exception, as fans flocked to see the promotional snapshots. However, something was different about these latest cast photos.
When the promotional photos of the Downton Abbey cast were released, fans noticed something out of place in one of the snapshots. Behind two of the cast members, on a mantel, sat a modern, plastic water bottle. A modern, plastic water bottle is not something you would typically see in the early 1900s, when the show is set. Oops. It was not long before fans, and critics, were pointing out Downton Abbey’s photographic snafu.
At first it seems silly for a photo to go viral all because of a water bottle. After all, aren’t there better things to worry about? But Downton Abbey is supposed to be a historically accurate period drama. And something out of place challenges the accuracy of the show, apparently. Representatives from the show have assured fans, however, that the water bottle “will not be making an appearance on the screen” and is just in the photo. Peace is restored and you can breathe your collective sigh of relief.
Assurances aside, something even greater came out of this viral snapshot. The cast of Downton Abbey responded to the snafu with a cheeky photo. The photo featured the cast smiling devilishly while pointing to plastic water bottles. But Downton Abbey did not just respond with a humorous photo. It did something even more.
The cast of Downton Abbey used its funny response as a means to bring attention to a worthy cause — WaterAid. The irony of the charity selected was both amusing and a perfect match. What better way to draw attention away from a silly snafu than with charity? Downton Abbey cast members hope that this social media gaffe will bring awareness to the work of WaterAid. The question is whether or not it will be effective. The response of the cast, and the articles stemming from that, will likely raise awareness. There will be no doubt that people will know that WaterAid exists. However, will it be enough to spark action and change? Will readers go beyond and seek out more information about the charity and how they can help? Or will this incident lapse into digital history soon?

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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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