The Kony 2012 video swept the YouTube world, gaining as many as 50,000 views the morning of it’s debut. Now with over 93 million views on Youtube alone, the video ranks as one of the most viewed videos on YouTube.But as with most world events, the video raised a lot of chatter about the validity of it’s message. The Kony 2012 video promoted Invisible Children, a nonprofit of which Ben Keesey is CEO and co-founder Jason Russell acted as videographer. Shortly after the video’s released, the non-profit’s website shut down as tens of millions of people flocked to it to make donations towards the cause.
As the Bloomberg Businessweek article, ‘Kony 2012’: Guerrilla Marketing, mentioned, “Kony 2012 [was designed] to do two seemingly incompatible things: 1) explain a protracted international conflict happening very far away; and 2) be as popular as a Buzzfeed list. Russell did away with much of Kony’s back story and focused instead on the target audience: teenagers and twentysomethings browsing Facebook and Twitter.” This strategy certainly influenced the success of the short film.
This marketing strategy clearly worked since, “By the end of the first week, more than 112 million people had seen Kony 2012.” One might ask if the number of views correspond to the number of donations to the non-profit. They certainly are – “Nearly 2 million people visited its donation page within the first few weeks of the campaign, and the nonprofit says the average donation it received online so far during 2012 is $20. Even by conservative estimates, Invisible Children has likely tripled its $13.7 million 2011 revenue with Kony 2012—and it’s possible that the actual number is much, much higher.”