Kony 2012 – why is it such a huge social media success?

It’s a glossy video that has Hollywood qualities, made by charity Invisible Children, this Youtube success story was seeded into Twitter and exploded from there. By the end of the first day this video had received over 3 million Youtube views.

The video features key attributes that make a successful viral. It begins with very emotive scenes of child-birth and unconditional happiness, it even features humor with film maker Jason Russell’s son bringing a smile to the viewer’s face. But very quickly this video takes a turn the dark-side gripping its viewers with a scene of a child and soldier sending shivers down your spine.

Most successful virals tend to be short, few are less than 30 seconds long. Nine out of Ten of the all time most popular Youtube hits are also music videos.

So what made this video such a hit?

  • Viewers are shown ‘Share’ buttons in the first few seconds almost subliminally, now i’m not a psychologist, but one could hazard a guess this helps plant that seed.
  • This video is emotive, its a roller-coaster of happy to sad to shock
  • Film maker Russell invites the viewer to participate in an experiment, and the use of the word ‘We’ and ‘Us’ instantly builds a sense of community and is very personal
  • Another point to note is a younger Russell from a clip a few years ago makes a ‘promise’ to a child, and I personally was amazed he could make such a promise, you feel that you almost want to help
  • The end of the video provides clear instructions on how you can help, leading with financial ones first, then powerfully suggests that the least you can do is ‘Share’ the video
  • There has also been critics who are shouting that the facts are wrong, this sort of debate and emotive reactions are simply more fuel to the fire for this social media blaze.

This is my verdict live on the 10pm news for Al Jezeera TV



  1. Sapna Rani249

    great thing

  2. Sapna Rani249

    jason russels son is great ….he did justice to this film by making the film…

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