You would have to be living under a rock not to have heard about the grass roots effort to capture Joseph Kony of the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda. A video posted on You Tube this week went viral, with over 56 Million hits (as of this writing.) In my case, my 15 year old daughter pleaded with me to turn off 60 Minutes to watch it; providing a stunning commentary on our movement to new forms of media.
The video, shot by a little known videographer is being promoted by the advocacy group “Invisible Children” and tells the story of a Ugandan child and others like him, who have been the victims of horrific crimes against humanity.
While the story and cause is compelling, it is the story telling that should capture our attention. The 30-minute video is presented like a short, part documentary part sensationalism. The themes of children killing their own parents and mutilating others are shocking and captivating.
All marketers should become aware of this medium. The movie blurs the line between amateur videos on You Tube and professionally produced movies. Companies often attempt to tell their story through static documents that lack color and texture. Those of us who are on the wrong side of aging must recognize that those who we market to no longer process information in the form of static text. We have been conditioned to view our news, our sports and our marketing offers in multimedia form. The marketing of the future will include many dimensions, including video, sound, and info-graphics launched online, rated by others and spread through sites that have not even been built yet. Media will be in constant flux, with new views, tidbits and vignettes wetting our appetite for real time information.
The other thing unique about the video is its call to action; setting a very clear goal to capture Kony in 2012. If you think that this is just another cause being thumped by a set of leftist activists, think again. The U.S. military has dispatched 100 Special Forces “advisors” to Uganda in an attempt to find Kony, and senior U.S. officials are scrambling to harness the populism of the video.
As the video proclaims “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” View it here