Getting Results With Video: Courage Campaign

Posted on August 5, 2010 Under Video

About this series: I’m looking for videos that had clear goals and knocked them out of the park. We hope these examples help EDF staff refine our sense of what it takes to make wildly effective videos.

Context: Produced during Proposition 8 fight in California, asking voters in the state, “Don’t divorce us!”

Goal(s): From the metrics reported on the campaign page, it looks like they were going for both visibility for their position and signatures on the letter. Presumably they wanted to leverage both into a victory on Election Day.

Results: A million views is great, 371K signatures from that is nothing short of stunning. In fact, it’s so stunning that my money says they sought signatures through other channels, too. But even so, word on the street is that the video was a powerful source of recruits to the cause.

The ballot measure, however, did not turn out as they wanted.

Why it works: It evokes powerful emotions and channels them directly into the action you can take. It’s not often that you have such a concrete, direct narrative of  “Ouch this hurts, make it stop! Ah, this will help.” There’s no super-fancy technical stuff here, just an idea framed to expose the heart of the issue, and the hearts of viewers.

That said, there would have been lots of bad ways to make this video, too, and what we see here is the result of smart choices. I love how it starts with couples, then moves outward to people talking about their friends and family members.  Good choice of music, too. I wish we could track “tears per viewer” on videos like this.

Many thanks to Jessica Bosanko of M+R for pointing me towards this video.

I’d love to hear more from anyone who worked on it!