KONY 2012: Effective?

Honestly, I had not seen the KONY 2012 video until today, but I had obviously heard many things about it when it first was uploaded. I know there is a lot of conflict and controversy settled around that 30-minute video with people for it and against it. I have found that it was an effective campaign that helped people become more involved with the other side of the world. I mean, the video has over 100 million views, the biggest viral video of our time! People watched it, and whether they agreed or disagreed, thoughts began to churn in their heads.

The Made to Stick framework shows how some ideas fall while other successfully rise to be heard. It explains that there are six principles that a campaign needs to create a successful idea: simplicity, unexpectedness, concreteness, credibility, emotions, and stories. I found that in the KONY 2012 video, the Invisible Children organization could have used these principles as a framework to help that make one of the most seen videos of all time. Although I feel as those some of the principles were lacking, which will be examined in the next few paragraphs.

I found the video to have a simple essence to it, yet was very complex at the same time. I felt that it had one main clear idea: to make Joseph Kony famous around the world so we could stop him and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), but there were several smaller points that were scattered around the video. Yet I feel that the main point didn’t come into play until the 15 minutes in, leaving me confused with some of the background information. I feel that Invisible Children relied heavily on their examples and stories that they had, that they kept adding more knowledge and information to the video, causing it to be a bit more complex than it should have been.

Unexpectedness was a key factor in KONY 2012. I think when it began in 2012 and I saw these posters, stickers and retweets saying “KONY 2012” or “STOP KONY”, I was quite perplexed with what was happening. But it stirred my interest into learning more about the video and who was this Kony everyone was tweeting about. I didn’t watch the video back then, but I noticed how fast people began to support the campaign. Now having watched the video, I found the Invisible Children effectively sucked people with talking about how we can change the world with just an idea. Their propaganda also helped the campaign to move faster than they probably expected, and I feel that people were very surprised at the time that all of this stuff concerning the LRA and Joseph Kony was happening. Like the video stated, no one knew who Kony was (no one being the vast majority of people). It was an eye opener for some and I felt the video used unexpectedness to their advantage to make their idea soar through the Internet.

As I said discussing the simplicity of the video, the idea of KONY 2012 was concrete and clear: let’s make Kony famous and please support in anyway possible so that no child will live in fear of abduction again. The ending of the video really emphasized the concreteness that the campaign was shooting for. They show that every future generation would be affected by this change of arresting Joseph Kony, allowing thousands of children to go back to their families, to live the lives that they were meant to live. I felt throughout the video, especially the second half, it was clear what the final aspect of this video was meant to be for, and even though the campaign didn’t end up the way it was planned, the idea still stayed clear and concise.

I felt that their credibility of the situation at hand was there. I felt their additions of talking heads and excerpts involving senators and other government officials allowed viewers to be able to trust the campaign as many prominent and credible people agreed as well. I found that they were very careful in their sources allowing their viewers to understand everything that the group meant and what their process and procedures were, giving the viewers a stable trust in what they were watching. Although the major point that allowed people to believe was child abductee Jacob Acaye. As someone who experienced being part of the LRA with Kony was able to give a personal testimony, which I feel put the campaign in a major step in the right direction.

This video is filled with emotion! The campaign effectively used emotional language, images, and videos to help give the video more emphasis on the situation. I found my emotions were high at certain points (hundreds of Ugandan children sleeping on the floor in that small room, children hugging their family, etc.) with me wanting to help them with whatever I could do. The narrator uses his own son to help show that even young children can understand what Kony is doing is wrong. Children always bring about feelings with people. We don’t like to see children starving or having to sleep on a dirt floor or being abducted and having to kill their parents. The shock value creates an overwhelming emotional plea that I feel made this video become so viral and supportive as it was.

The last principle in the framework is stories, which the entire video is an example of. KONY 2012 is one big video story showing the world their thoughts and idea surrounding Joseph Kony and the Invisible Children. I feel that all of the other 5 principles can all easily tie into stories. Jacob Acaye’s story of his time in the resistance having to watch his brother be killed struck me, making me realize that these are children that are experiencing horrible things without any kind of help or love that the desperately need. They can’t stay in their own homes due to the fear of being abducted and killed or trained to kill. Jacob even states that they would rather die than stay on earth because they have no future to the fear instilled in their lives. This comment and the rest of his stories the campaigns use really helps settle emotions in people’s hearts.

I feel that this campaign emphasizes the impact that these rebel groups have on these children and their call to action is quite clear. The aftermath of the video caused many people to hate it or love it. The Invisible Children group had a purpose and idea that they wanted to advocate to the whole world to help change the way future generations will grow up. I felt that they may have had a few issues with their practice but nonetheless I felt they followed most of the six principles allowing their idea to be one of the most talked about ideas in the entire world.


And here is the infamous video itself:


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