Why did #Kony2012 become the most viral video in History

On March 5th 2012 Invisible Children launched the video Kony 2012 as part of a larger campaign to bring awareness to Joseph Kony and the atrocities he and Lord’s Resistance Army were doing in Uganda and ultimately to see him arrested for human right abuses.

The Kony2012 video became the fastest video to reach 100,000,000 views in internet history according to research from www.onlineschool.com.

42% of the people involved heard about Kony within days of the launch date. In America within the 18-30 age range 52% heard about it from social media in a couple of days from launch, with traditional media and internet being the influential sources for the 30-49 age group.

Invisible Children did an amazing job in crowdsourcing Kony 2012.

So How did they do it?

    1 Celebrity endorsement

    On the day of release – March 5th they had 66,000 views on the first day. On March 6th, Oprah tweeted the film to her 10 million followers and that day 9,000,000 people viewed the film. Other a list celebrities also followed: @JustinBeiber tweeted to 18 million, @rihanna tweeted to her 15,316,000, @kimkardashian tweeted to her 14,200,000 and others also tweeted raising instant awareness in two days.

    However, celebrities tweet about causes all the time and some of them don’t go viral? Some of their influence helped crowd source Kony 2012.

    2. Grassroots efforts.

    Few people release that Invisible Children began offline campaigning in 2004 and for 8 years led awareness campaigns in schools, colleges, sharing about LRA and child soldiers, etc.

    The grassroots operation was run out of IC’s San Diego headquarters where it looked and functioned just like a presidential campaign office. Volunteers phoning, calling everybody on their list, gathering endorsements and planning the next move -the video Kony2012.

    3. Touring Teams

    Invisible Children had teams that toured America, Canada, England, and Australia with national tours and met over 3,000,000 people face to face. Two weeks before the launch of #Kony2012 IC had road teams in key cities throughout the states, creating communities to influence and share the upcoming video story.

    4. Storyline

    With these factors in play, Invisible Children developed a great storyline for the video. IC made the message of the LRA and Joseph Kony personal, telling the story of a complex civil war into simple terms that even kids could understand.

    5. Social interaction

    the Kony2012 videos told the viewers how to make banners, tweet leaders, contact policymakers, donate, buy an action kit and most of all provide a deadline that motivated people to be finished by.

    6. Awareness Program

    IC invested heavily in raising awareness. They spent funds on websites, clothing, DVD’s and media and film creation in Uganda and the states. In their words they said “if you want to be a good storyteller don’t underestimate the importance of investing in quality awareness raising”.

Steve Brown
Hall and Brown Inc




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