This week the internet galaxy woke up to the “campaign” of Mr. Joseph Kony, guerilla leader of the Ugandan LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army). This campaign was cleverly created by a non-profit called Invisible Children, who has been doing some great work in Africa, working to rescue children who are kidnapped by the LRA and turned into child soldiers. Over the past two decades, the LRA has made it common practice to enter towns and kill the adults, take the male children as soldiers, and sexually abuse the female children.
As a designer and owner of a creative agency, one of the first things that stood out to me was the genius behind this campaign. It is branded very well and just look at the momentum and attention that it’s received. One would think that Kony was running for President of not only Africa or the U.S., but the freakin world. The only other time that I’ve seen such a powerfully branded and well designed campaign was during Obama’s run for President. Kony is receiving exactly what Invisible Children sought after . . . Attention.
The second thing that came to mind, after watching the very well produced Kony 2012 video, and after seeing so many people talk about giving to this cause on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media outlets, was how trendy it will become to latch on to this campaign. People are spreading the Kony video like wild fire and boasting of their support for this movement. This campaign is only about 3 days old and the video has received over 16million hits on youtube. I’m seeing people on Facebook refer to the attachment to the campaign as “trendy” and many will say that this will be short lived until the next big trend pops up in about 2 weeks.
I myself feel the same, but isn’t this what the campaign is designed to do? To bring attention to this “evil” leader for one year, or even less if he gets arrested before the end of 2012? Inivisible Children is now receiving some criticism for the campaign and there are even videos popping up that attack their integrity and financial transparency. This is part of the game when an organization does something ground breaking and becomes an overnight “celebrity”. Regardless, I have to say that the organization is doing what they felt would be the most effective for their cause and in the end if it works, then more power to these guys.
Whether you decide to support this campaign or not, I hope that it brings awareness to what is going on in Uganda and drives people to do their research and find out about even more atrocities taking place around the world. If this Kony campaign moved you to give or step out and do something that you’ve never done before, then it’s doing exactly what it was supposed to do. We should all have a giving heart and be a regular supporter of anyone or anything that is doing good and changing lives. If you could care less about Kony, that’s fine, but find something to care about and give to it, whether it’s your time or money. You have the power to change the world, even if it’s the small little world around you. Make a Shift. Change the freakin world.
- Hector Garcia