With nearly 80 million views in less than two weeks, it’s undeniable that the Kony 2012 video has been a social media success. Let’s look at some of the approaches Invisible Children used that helped catapult it into the spotlight.
Positive messaging: The video opens with simple human connection. The birth of a child, pride in parenthood, and a friendship is the opening platform. And, although the video is meant to bring awareness to Joseph Kony’s actions, only a fraction of the 30-minute video is dedicated to Kony himself.
Personal and Emotional: The same child we see being born at the beginning is featured throughout the video. The emotional connection with the filmmaker and his son leave our heartstrings vulnerable and just as connected to the cause.
Time Sensitive: The video creates a deadline: December 31, 2012. This results in a sense of urgency for the audience that results in actions.
Simple and Easy: The Kony video is easy to act on. With simple directions such as “go to this website” or “share this video,” the smallest actions allow the audience to feel involved and empowered about the cause. By making the process simple, engagement increases.
In addition to the tactics used in the video, Invisible Children has a strong understanding of its target market, cohesive visuals, and an excellent presence in social media. The movement, regardless of whether it leads to Kony’s capture or not, has emphasized that social media is more than a superficial tool but rather, a tool for global change.