Regardless of your stand on KONY2012 it’s hard to ignore. Whether you care about the capture of Kony before December 31 or not what’s really interesting about this campaign is how well this non for profit, Invisible Children has executed their message.
By now it’s fairly well accepted that social media is a powerful tool. It can help brands drive a message, inform people of timely events, and in this case, introduce people to an idea. Long have we been hearing now about storytellers influence others by connecting them to a common thought or goal. With the KONY2012 campaign, Invisible Children has clearly recognized a few key things about social media and managed to combine them with a story based on basic human values. This made it worth sharing.
The story they tell in their 28 minute video leverages a few key tools:
1) A Connection to Basic Human Emotions: Including caring, belonging, and love. The video begins by telling a story we can all relate to. It helps us set the framework of how life might have been different had we been born under different circumstances.
2) A Story You Can Relate To: It tells the story of a boy which at first, starts off as nothing new to anyone who has seen a World Vision commercial. What’s different about his story is the moment where he says he would see more value in his death than life. And that’s how you know the situation is desperate.
3) An Expiry Date: This organization not only points out the positive things they have done to make change already, but recognize point blank, the importance of keeping the momentum of an idea going. This is a difficult task. Critics have already pointed out the obvious, within the next 18 hours this will start to fade. But whose to say it wouldn’t have made a pinprick of an impact? At the end of the day, we are all trying to be influencers of something. To at least mention the barrier of time is an honest approach to making people care.
4) The Multiplying Effect of Key Influencers: Another key part of this video viral campaign is that the organization recognized the value of lining up popular influencers. The pop culture icons are meant to be a platform to drive this message through their networks and the political figures are there to set policy in motion.
5) A Simple Call to Action: The video ends with ways to get involved. Most of which are nothing new. Sign up for a kit, get a bracelet and some posters. What sets this campaign apart from others is that it’s hard to ignore the simplicity of their plea: Make Kony Famous. By having people recognize such a simple call to action connected to such a strong message ie: Give the opportunity for others to choose life over death, it’s hard to sit back and not at least click “share”.
Despite how this campaign will end, it has caused a notable splash in our world and of course, anything worth sharing will have its critics. The fact that people are talking about it is an accomplishment that has put Invisible Children on the map. Regardless of your stand on this topic, it holds true that it has made us think. It’s tricky to answer the bigger questions such as: “Should public opinion drive international intervention?” Time will tell how the story unfolds but for now, it’s clear to see this organization has created a social media success.
For those of you who haven’t seen the video yet, take a look and decide for yourself:
KONY 2012 from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.