Analysis: Viral Marketing Case Study

The 30-minute non-profit-made film Kony 2012 was launched on March 5th 2012 on Vimeo, within two days, Kony 2012 hit 7 million views across 150 countries. The purpose of this film is to make Joseph Kony famous throughout the world to facilitate his arrest and seek justice for his acts with the Lord’s Resistance Army. The more viewers there is, the more attention people will put on Kony, after the film was launched, comments related to the film are overflowing into social networks. Over the course of the week, the number of views on YouTube reached from a few thousand on Monday to more than 38 million today. It was most popular with young people ages 13 to 24.

For 26 years, Kony has been kidnapping children into his rebel group, the LRA, turning the girls into sex slaves and the boys into child soldiers. The organization behind the film, Invisible Children, have been working behind the scene to stop the conflict in Uganda and the abduction of children for use as child soldiers, but due to the lack of attention and interest from foreign authorities and the inability of regional forces in Uganda, little actions have been taken to stop this issues.

Finally in October 2011, the president of the United States Obama deployed 100 U.S. troops to Africa to provide assistance to regional forces to remove Kony from the battlefield. Now, the film kONY 2012 has achieved their purpose once and for all: to find and arrest Kony. Its goal is to ensure the public to know and care about the arrest of Kony so that pressure remains to fulfill this objective. The effect of the film highlights exactly how the public can support the efforts and, from another perspective, some insights on the wider idea of achieving change in society.

When more and more public voices are being heard, actions will be taken to stop the conflict. The way that the campaign has spread is an indication that people care about achieving positive social change, that is why when the film Kony 2012 was launched, more and more people shared and can’t wait to let everyone know about this Kony person so they could all take him down together, comments over the Internet also hinted at the reason that the campaign is so successful is because the film was well done.

Kony 2012 had an enormous social media phenomenon, especially for a non-profit. A host of related terms trended on Twitter, including Kony, #Kony2012, #StopKony, #CoverTheNight, LRA and Joseph Kony. People on Twitter used hashtag to bring attention to the issue, people who are total strangers even came together as one because of this viral film.

The millions who watched the “Kony 2012” video and at the same time donated or contacted a legislator, acting individually might collectively force some big decisions. Already, some have credited efforts by Invisible Children before the video with spurring the United States government to send 100 advisers to help capture Mr. Kony.The film itself shows the power of engaging with participating communities and tastemakers in an age when everyone with access to the internet can amplify a message. It shows how a simple 30-minute can bring such a huge impact on people in the society and brought everyone around the world to one point where they are doing something together as one. People can create re-mixes, or simply share it with their friends and favorite celebrity.


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