Yes, it’s 1.7 million views, which in many cases would be a viral success. But we’re talking about “Kony 2012: Part II,” the sequel to the viral video phenomenon that racked up 100 million views in less time only a month ago. These numbers for the latest film are just two percent of what the original video reached.
In music, there’s a known fear of the follow-up album, with fans, artists, and record companies scared that the second time around won’t live up to the debut. The problem with Kony 2012’s second outing aren’t just that the film isn’t as good as the original.
Because it caught on so quickly and so widely, the media raced to cover the original documentary. “Kony 2012: Part II” mostly served as a place to sort out some of the details that had already been clarified over the course of the weeks of backlash. What worked so well to grab the audience the first time around was missing in the follow-up. And with no new news hook, there was no reason to cover it again. Low media coverage for the sequel was likely a contributing factor to the low turnout for the sequel.
Second was the controversy. Many who may have been checking out the “Kony 2012” film because of everything they heard could have been turned off by the reported inaccuracies and the reporting of staff meltdowns after. There was nothing left to drive traffic to the second film.
No one expected “Kony 2012: Part II” to reach anywhere near the number of views that the first one did. But, the campaign needed to maintain some momentum going into this Friday’s “Cover the Night” protest. The Guardian says it will be taking a close look at the campaign leading into this Friday’s activity. But just taking a quick look calls into question whether the campaign can be as successful as all of last month’s hype would’ve indicated.