In an effort to raise its socially conscious voice to the already loud socially active part of its environment, YouTube has launched a campaign with the lofty "Millennium Development Goal" of "cutting global poverty in half by 2015."
The campaign, "In my name," unites the online destination with Global Call to Action Against Poverty, Oxfam International, Save the Children and Comic Relief to help spread the message that poverty around the world needs to be eliminated.
To get out the word, YouTube last week unveiled a dedicated micro-site, YouTube.com/inmyname, where visitors can upload videos stating their name, home country and a message to their government about the need to meet the poverty goals. Among the celebs who already have put videos on the site are Mischa Barton, Ellie McPherson, Kristin Davis, Annie Lennox, Scarlett Johansson, John Legend, Wyclef Jean and Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas.
Partnering with YouTube brings the urgent message to consumers worldwide via an immediately recognizable brand and an easily accessed format. "Oxfam and GCAAP are joining up with YouTube to make sure we give everyone in the world an easy way to use their power to demand action from their governments," Alison Woodhead, spokeswoman at Oxfam International, Boston, said in a statement.
The action by YouTube to ramp up its social agenda is supported by a just released survey from strategy and communications agency Cone, Inc., Boston. "The 2008 Cone Business in Social Media Study" shows that 93% of Americans believe a company should have a presence in social media, while 85% believe a company should not only be present but also interact with its consumers via social media.
Will.I.Am of the Black Eyed Peas wrote the theme song for the micro-site, also called "In My Name," which plays as background music as the personal videos are shown. In November, Will.I.Am will take a sampling of new videos that have been uploaded and re-mix the "In my name" song, which will appear on the Web site and elsewhere.
"'In My Name' enables individuals to send the powerful collective message that we can be the generation to end poverty," Steve Grove, head of news and politics at YouTube, San Bruno, Calif., said in a statement. "Working with these great organizations, we can help ensure that the Millennium Development Goals receive the attention they deserve."