Friday, March 16, 2012

Why ‘Kony 2012’ is a huge digital success

As at date, a population at least 3 times that of Uganda’s 32.36 million has watched the youtube video on Joseph Kony, a rebel and leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), a group notorious for recruiting and arming child soldiers..  Invisible Children’s controversial “Kony 2012 video has reached unprecedented heights for a social-cause video. The most amazing thing to many people is that the video is nearly 30 minutes long, which surely breaks the “rule” that online videos need to be short to be effective.

Armed child soldier on guard 
Christian Science Monitor in an article today, gives three reasons for the huge success the video has recorded in online viewership. 
Here are the three reasons:
•  The organization told its own story first, a story of how it developed passion for the issue, how its members came together, and why it is critical for its supporters to act. The video follows a storytelling pattern developed by Marshall Ganz, a lecturer at Harvard University and is taught by the New Organizing Institute. Mr. Ganz says this pattern uses three stories: the story of self, the story of us, and the story of now.
Jason Russell
•  It made the story simple. The issues in Northern Uganda are very complicated. But Invisible Children chose to simplify those issues by focusing the video on the story of one bad guy: Joseph Kony, head of the Lord’s Resistance Army, operating in Central Africa. The video places a strong focus on emotion, which, in turn, inspired many viewers to share it and take action.
•  It made the viewer the hero. This video isn’t about Mr. Kony. It’s about the viewer and how that viewer can be the hero by taking action. In the video, Mr. Kony is portrayed as evil – as if he is a villain in a Batman movie. And if he is the evil villain, then you, the person fighting him, are the hero.
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