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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

This Video Was a Marketing Success

Back in March, Invisible Children made a big splash when it released a video, Kony 2012. The goal of the video was to build awareness of Joseph Kony's terrorizing of Ugandans and raise support for his arrest. However, shortly after the release of the video, the charity found itself dealing with a lot of critics who questioned everything from the appropriateness of its approach to solving such a serious problem, to its financial health. We even weighed in on some of the criticism on our site here.

Now, several months later, a new article in Bloomberg Businessweek, takes a look at whether or not the video was a marketing success. And given stats reported in the article, it sure seems like it was! Within a week of the video's release,  more than 112 million people had seen it. That's on par with the number of people who watch the Super Bowl each year. In fact, the Kony 2012 video was viewed by more people in a shorter amount of time than any other video in the history of the Internet. Furthermore, one poll run 10 days after the video's release found that 52% of U.S. adults had heard of Kony 2012 and about 25% of those 18 to 29 had watched it.

But as our own Ken Berger comments in the article, this marketing success simply means that “he who has the best marketing wins.” Instead of focusing on the charity with the best marketing, we need to be looking for the charities with the most impressive results. Of course, just as Mr. Berger goes on to say, "awareness is a very hard thing to be able to measure and determine."

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