Matt Damon’s Toilet Strike: Will Water.org’s Awareness Campaign Go Viral?
I first heard about Matt Damon’s toilet strike campaign to raise awareness about the need for clean water from PR Newser – a great score for a nonprofit fueled by Damon’s celebrity involvement, since PRNewser usually worries more about big corporate PR failures and dust-ups in the media than nonprofit campaigns.
According to an article in the UK Guardian, the campaign was influenced in part, by the success of nonprofit Invisible Children’s Kony 2012 campaign (which I wrote about here and here) which is still getting hat nods in conversations about whether or not ads can be manufactured to go viral. The Kony 2012 video got tons of views and people talking and watching a LONG video – even if the grassroots organizing component around a day of action didn’t work so well.
Will the combination of celebrity, humor, connections to media giants Google and YouTube, and social media involvement fuel the campaign going viral? Maybe. The spot strikes an almost oppositional tone, but it has gotten people talking about something none of us normally would talk about – which is at least the point of starting a campaign. A Google news search for “strike with me” yielded 81,200 results.
Water.org has designed their campaign with easier involvement pieces than the Kony 2012 project and a shorter video, with the benefit of star power and powerhouse online media pushing the campaign. This campaign may take off where Invisible Children’s project didn’t. I’m rooting for it to go well.