This past week saw the launch of Kony 2012 by non-profit organization Invisible Children. The campaign was hard to miss and even with my hectic work and grad school schedule I could not avoid seeing mentions of the campaign on Facebook, Twitter and news sites.
So what is Kony 2012?
Kony 2012 is a campaign to increase awareness of Ugandan LRA rebel leader Joseph Kony in order for him to be arrested during 2012. The campaign’s video has become the fastest spreading viral video ever. As of yesterday evening (March 10th) the youtube video had received over 67,000,000 views.
Why am I talking about it on a business ideas blog?
Well I will start by saying I’m not political in the slightest and as a green card holder I can’t even vote! But I wanted to talk about Kony 2012, as it illustrates the game changing power of social media marketing. In this post I will talk about the characteristics of what makes this viral video successful.
Kony 2012 is informative and shocking in a way that makes the viewer want to share it with others. It’s a video you could send to your friends, colleagues and family.
It has the Hollywood touch
The Kony 2012 video is inspiring, heartbreaking and uplifting, like any good movie. It’s also beautifully filmed with constant screen changes, different settings and music. The use of the narrator Jason Russell’s son Gavin humanizes the cause further. Typically viral videos need to be short (about 2 minutes) to capture attention, but Kony 2012’s emotional roller coaster style filming makes its 29 minutes watchable. From a viral video perspective Kony 2012 is probably the exception when it comes to video length not the rule.
It shows how individuals can make a difference
The video has several calls to action and viewers are asked to share the video. The Kony 2012 website lets you copy the link or click for a link to embed. Viewers are also instructed to write to the 20 designated culture makers (film, music and sports stars etc.) and 12 policy makers. What is cool about it is that when you click on the individuals you are not given old school mailing and telephone details, but formatted tweets, which can be sent with a click of a button.
Other calls to action include donating to the campaign and buying or downloading a campaign kit. One purpose of the kit is to blanket every street on April 20, 2012. The posters and bracelets are geo tagged and each unique tag number can be entered online to show the campaign’s reach. At the time of writing this blog posts the kits are currently sold out, though can still be downloaded.
It’s time sensitive
The video will expire on December 31, 2012 demonstrating the organization’s goal of getting Kony arrested before the end of the year. The expiration date adds a sense of urgency to the campaign.
Kony 2012 viral video
Here is the video everyone is talking about:
I would encourage you to watch and share the video if you haven’t already seen it, to learn what Kony 2012 is all about.