Spotlight Case Study: Save the Children UK

On March 5, 2014, Save the Children UK released a 94-second video to raise awareness and support for children affected by war in Syria. A stunning example of capturing a powerful message, the video, entitled “Most Shocking Second a Day Video,” received over 28 million views and 20 thousand comments on YouTube alone. With these numbers, it’s clear that Save the Children UK topped the video marketing charts in March. The most shocking thing about the video is its illustration of the harsh realities many children live through every day.

A Horrific Timeline

Save the Children UK’s video is a bit horrific as it travels from comfort to fear. The video traces a short timeline of a young girl’s life, starting with birthday cheer and ending with hunger in her war-torn homeland. As her surroundings change, viewers begin to identify with the girl and realize this could happen to anyone at any time. Following the unexpected conclusion, #savesyriaschildren appears before the recording stops – a move that spawned a wave of tweets worldwide. When compared to the other viral videos in March, “Most Shocking Second a Day” is one of the most memorable.

Raising Awareness

Save the Children UK’s video serves as a prime example of the power visual media has to raising awareness and help others. With video, the organization broke through language barriers to communicate a powerful message to viewers around the world. Instead of using words, colors and mood convey a range of emotions. The video’s producers did a fantastic job at integrating cinematography with mood. In the beginning, the birthday scene is shot in warm light and a comforting atmosphere, but lighting and color schemes soon darken as tragedy unfolds.

Second a Day Video’s Impact

In addition to massive response on YouTube, the video earned widespread sharing on social media platforms, particularly Facebook and Twitter, where the production earned thousands of shares, re-tweets, and mentions. Save the Children UK’s video impacted millions around the globe; after its release, the video began to drive traffic to the organization’s site and encouraged followers to help. Thus far, the impact of this video has been the primary reason for the success of Save the Children UK’s campaign.

The Results

With nearly 300,000 followers on Facebook and over 75,000 on Twitter, Save the Children UK has received an abundance of online visibility from their video. Serving as one component of the organization’s overall fundraising campaign, “Most Shocking Second a Day” helped Save the Children UK reach two-thirds of their total goal of $75,000. Weeks after the video was released, it is still being distributed multiple times each day by social media users around the world. Perhaps an unexpected outcome of the video has been the organization’s linkage with like-minded groups, such as “Hand in Hand 4 Syria,” which posts heartbreaking images on Twitter as a reminder of Syria’s ongoing struggles.

What are your thoughts on Save the Children UK’s recent video?

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