KONY 2012 – what is it? It’s Viral Marketing
Yesterday my Facebook feed exploded with people sharing the KONY 2012 video, saying they were speechless, amazed, and that something must be done.
But what the KONY 2012 video really is, is viral marketing taking on a new form.
We’ve all encountered viral marketing before, usually a funny or gimmicky video or picture that you feel compelled to share throughout your social network that has the end result of trying to make you buy or use something.
And that is what KONY 2012 is – it is trying to make you spend your money by giving it to the Invisible Children, as simple as that.
This is not to say that there is not a cause within the video that people should become passionate about. There is, and the producers know that, and use it to make you feel guilty and feel compelled to give.
However, the cause is somewhat confused here. I’ll only cover the basics, because there are myriad blogs across the internet that go into the details. Joseph Kony is hardly active in Uganda anymore, having moved his campaign into bordering countries as he faced opposition. Invisible Children donates only 32% of its donations (comparatively exceedingly low – Africare donates 90%) to the Ugandan army, who are themselves accused of raping and corruption. Invisible Children spends most of its money on salaries, traveling, and making videos like KONY 2012.
All of this, however, leads me to a much bigger point. The point is that social media seems to have made many people blind to the fact that there is always two (or more) sides to every story. If someone shares something, especially something as emotive as KONY 2012, most people accept it as gospel because it came directly from their friends, who they trust. They then go and ‘spread the word’, which is the very power of social media. Invisible Children know that, and they are using it to their advantage.
Haven’t seen this video yet? Watch here:
For your interest – also see our article posted yesterday: What is Kony 2012?