Many of you would have seen this Project KONY come up in your social graphs. It seems to be everywhere and everyone seems to be talking about it.
The 30 minute video.
In short, a charity makes a video about a bad guy, posts it on youtube, asks for help to stop him. Sits back and makes millions!KONY 2012 is a film and campaign by Invisible Children that aims to make Joseph Kony famous, not to celebrate him, but to raise support for his arrest and set a precedent for international justice.
People are falling over themselves to send money, buy Kony bracklets/posters/T-shirts/other products and talk about it everywhere to spread the word. Nobody bothers to ask what the charity is doing with the money, check their accounts or even examine whether the charity is doing more harm than good (advocacy vs propaganda vs actual aid? What's the point of killing one bad guy? Is it worth $10M if someone else is just going to take his place tomorrow?)
The public are simply handing over the money in their rush to be "caring and compassionate" ...or to be seen as such. And those who can't afford those two calls to action at the end of the video to buy, buy, buy and to sign up for a regular monthly payment, are going for the cheapo modern method of demonstrating compassion by "sharing" the video i.e. "marketing" it to their friends
In all that commercial activity there are private companies making a killing too by riding on this wave, some very legitimately.
What makes a project like this take off the way it has? What's the X-factor here (apart from the obvious tug at the heartstrings)? Can we even distill such DNA to use in our own marketing?
And how can our commercial companies legitimately ride on such waves?