Five ideas your brand should steal from Kony 2012

posted by on 2012.03.12, under Brand Strategy, Design, Social Media

Even in Singapore, far from the mountains of Uganda and the San Diego headquarters of the Invisible Children nonprofit, the #kony2012 viral campaign has spread like wildfire. Despite debate over the movie and nonprofit’s merit, one thing is clear: they “did produce a hell of a video.”

Chances are, your company is not a nonprofit. Your brand isn’t spearheading a campaign to make a war criminal pay for his crimes against humanity. And to date, you probably haven’t published a video online that’s gained hundreds of thousands of views within a few days.

Nonetheless, there are at least five ideas your brand can—and should—steal from the Kony 2012 campaign.

Click here to continue reading this article at Singapore Business Review.


Another good review using a powerful current event, Rob. Useful.

I have one thing that’s concerning me. And that is that corporate brands (especially, like, those listed within FutureBrands’ portfolio) have one single commitment and objective, to which everything else is 100% subservient: Profit.

And that Profit is gained by adhering to (and manifesting) a single, overriding belief: Growth.

One could say that neither of these corporate tenets may be challenged in any way, shape or form. Despite the fundamental consequences that arise from their fixed nature and combination.

The framework you eloquently describe for branding works: apply powerful emotional appeal, posing the brand solution against a faux or metaphoric (or real) opponent, relying on some degree of experimentation (which requires a release of control), while encouraging and embracing two-way dialogue (not one-way or top-down diatribes), and hiring experts who can deliver real production value using any defined budget (many of which have shrunk or/and splintered considerably over the last decade).

The problem is: the systemic formula you describe works — but represents the exact antithesis of almost all large corporations and most brands. Which are impersonal and logical, not emotional (people are thusly commoditized). Demanding of rigid controls (especially on the direct reporting of ROI). Based on authoritarian organizations and reporting structures, which reject dissent. And commoditize their vendors as well as their customers.

So I agree 100% that this is what leads to branding success.

And I’d love to see Part 2 of this excellent piece describe ways and means for those of us who have a vested interest in brand success to actualize these tenets within organizations which naturally reject each one of them, and ALL of them — and their advocates.

Paul van Winkle ( 2012/03/13 at 03:20 )

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    Rob Meyerson is a brand strategist currently working in San Francisco.

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