UNICEF‘s #SahelNOW campaign is designed to promote awareness of famine, effecting 1,000,000 children, in the Sahel region in West and Central Africa. Echoing Kony 2012, the immensely successful independent campaign that raised awareness of Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony, UNICEF prompts users to share a video and an image on Twitter and Facebook, using the SahelNOW hashtag.
Epitomizing the concept of “slacktivism,” the organization also has on its website pre-written messages to post alongside each post.
Unfortunately, this well-intentioned campaign is a carbon copy of Kony 2012. Following the end of Kony 2012, it seems unlikely that #SahelNOW, launched immediately after Kony 2012’s spectacularly public flameout due to its founder’s actions, could become a similar viral sensation and generate as much social interest and action. To draw attention to its campaign, UNICEF needed to innovate, not copy.
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