Invisible Children is an organisation dedicated to putting an end to the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) based in Central Africa led by Joseph Kony. In pursuing peace, the not-for-profit organisation attempts to rescue children abducted by the LRA and forced to either become soldiers or sex slaves.
For almost 3 decades, Joseph Kony and LRA have committed crimes against humanity; taking children away from their families for their own self-preservation, and selfish wants. African communities have been living in dread, unwilling to take a stand in fear of what might happen. It was clear that Invisible Children needed to spread awareness and reach a larger audience in order to raise more money, bring every captive home, and end the LRA’s reign.
How they overcame their problem:
On the 5th March, Invisible Children released a 30-minute video on YouTube describing the LRA, their inhumane acts, and our need to capture their leader Joseph Kony and bring him to justice. The video exhibited graphic images and disturbing footage of Kony and the LRA in action, abducting children, and forcing them to the forefront of battle.
The result was worldwide insanity. In just one day, the YouTube video hit a staggering 1 million views. 10 days later, it hit 100 million. Within only a few days, the video became a viral sensation with 3.5 million people pledging their support for the arrest of Joseph Kony. 1.7 million people visited the Invisible Children website, with on average 30 thousand viewing the homepage concurrently thus crashing the site. Results in Africa were also astonishing with a 67% decrease in killings in 2012 in comparison to the previous year.
Why it worked:
Kony 2012’s success stemmed from a cleverly executed and simple video. It incorporated all the elements of an effective story; A compelling and emotive storyline, a resolution, and a call to action, which all drew in viewers. Statistics and interviews of witnesses in the video added to its credibility and reliability, promising viewers KONY 2012 was a worthwhile cause. YouTube in the U.S in fact, reaches more 18-34 year olds than any other cable network meaning that Invisible Children was able to reach a large, and young target audience, perhaps vulnerable to making donations, and sharing the video with others this increasing social reach exponentially.