As social media and web video continue to emerge as the best channels for communication the world has ever seen, more and more people and organizations are creating videos to protest, inform and inspire change about various social issues. From environmental campaigns to statements against the death penalty and fur clothing to AIDS awareness, all sorts of activist videos are popping up on the Web, as video becomes the new picket sign for promoting various causes. Read on to see some of the best recent examples of activism through web video.
International Anti-Fur Coalition | “Fur Free”
Anti-Fur advocates have been protesting through demonstrations for decades, throwing red paint on women wearing fur coats, passing out leaflets and sporting the slogan “Fur Is Dead” on t-shirts and stickers and spray-painting it on buildings in cities throughout the globe.
A new spot, created by Lowe Bull in South Africa for the International Anti-Fur Coalition takes the anti-fur campaign to the next level. The video, which features a woman searching in a fur bag for her cell phone and pulling out a heart and innards serves as a gory reality check for viewers. Fur clothing and accessories were once living creatures. The clip closes with, “If only everyone could see the real cost of fur.” Viewers are left to determine for themselves whether the cost of a life is worth the glamour of wearing fur.
Amnesty International | “Death to the death penalty”
Amnesty International released a very cool anti-death penalty spot earlier this month. In “Death to the death penalty”, a firing squad, an electric chair and a lynch mob made of wax melt away. According to the clip, “139 countries have wiped out the death penalty. Only 58 are left to convince.”
The video has garnered nearly 30,000 views in less than two weeks. Visually, it is stunning, and is likely to continue to spread Amnesty International’s word about the death penalty on the web and beyond.
Amnesty | Russian Dolls
Another Amnesty International clip was also released earlier this month. “Russian Dolls” was created to denounce and spread the word about human rights violations in Russia. The clip features Russian Babushka dolls riddled with blood, dressed as censored press and crying. The clip closes with the statement, “We must not let Russia’s charm hide its atrocities.”
Greenpeace | Have a break?
In March of this year, Greenpeace released a video to spread the word that Nestle, the maker of Kit Kat, was using palm oil purchased from companies that are destroying the Indonesian rainforest and pushing orangutans towards extinction. The video, which features a guy opening a Kit Kat at work, pulling out an orangutan finger and taking a bite, shocked hundreds of thousands of viewers. The Greenpeace campaign against Nestle was a success. Within a few short months Nestle pledged to cut forest destruction out in the production of its products.
Topsy | AIDS patients dramatic recovery
In this beautiful and powerful spot, created by Oglvy for the Topsy Foundation in South Africa, we see a woman who looks healthy descend into the depths of AIDS over 90 days. However, at the end we realize that she is not dying, but rather getting better. Time is moving backwards and we see her, at her sickest, taking her first dose of Topsy’s ARV AIDS treatment. This clip, which is really taking off today, is a great way to spread the word about Topsy’s treatment and raise funds to give a second chance to other AIDS patients.
These videos are just a few great examples of the many ways organizations and activists are using web video to spread the word about issues around the globe. Through social media, the web is proving to be the best and fastest way to reach thousands, or even millions, of potential supporters. What do you think of the above clips? Do you think web video could be considered the picket sign of the future, helping protest, demonstrate and spread the word about various causes?