#StopKony: the real takeaway viral marketing
“WATCH KONY” was the text message I received from my sister this afternoon. On failing to respond, she promptly added “NOW!!!” As I hadn’t been on Facebook, I was oblivious to the fact that she was referring to a documentary film/ YouTube video, which about 8 million odd people had seen before me. I sat down to watch, it wondering why she felt it so urgent that I watch this documentary, but more importantly where she had managed to come across this film on the Ugandan LRA?
The answers were obvious the moment I logged into Facebook. “10 friends posted about Kony today.”
While the film, has undoubtedly caught the attention of the digital world, there have been mixed responses to the actual content of the film. The message “Stop Kony” has undoubtedly struck a chord with those who have constantly been reposting it on their Facebook pages or tweeting it. However there are certain questions that you can’t help but ask yourself while watching the video. There’s something unsettling about watching the film, and unfortunately it’s not only what is going on in Uganda. Or what the foreign policy blog contends is not. At least it’s more complicated than what the film may portray it to be.
The message of Stop Kony is simple, but what crosses the back of your mind is, whether it is oversimplified. And is that necessarily a good thing? We live in an age where information can be disseminated rapidly, and globally. With the recent advent of viral marketing, it’s us who are ultimately responsible for disseminating information online. With the endless amount of information available to us, unfortunately it’s not enough to passively accept it all. The real lesson we can take from this is therefore to not mindlessly watch and repost.