Posts tagged ‘cause’

December 4, 2010

‘Digital Death’ Campaign Fails

On December 1, World AIDS Day,  Keep A Child Alive— a donor-driven organization committed to providing therapy for children and their families with HIV/AIDS in Africa and India— launched their “Digital Death” campaign. The world’s supposed most popular and followed celebrities sacrificed their digital lives, opting out of all social media activity, until the campaign’s $1,000,000 goal was reached.

Photo Credit: Access Hollywood

A seemingly-noble concept—yes, the mission is great— but as of this moment, three days later, the campaign has generated only $231,419. Participating celebrities are still largely silent, though some have begun posting messages reminding their followers that their favorite celebrity is still dead, asking for participation in the campaign. This is, in essence, the signal of a complete campaign failure.

Utilizing these celebrities as beacons for raising campaign awareness is one tactic— altogether removing their ability to communicate and generate action is another, and one that lacks strategy of any kind. As Tonya Garcia of PRNewser points out:

“By pulling the celebs off of social media, the campaign has done itself a disservice, gagging a major fundraising tool.”

Other critics of the campaign raise another valid point—just how easily these celebrities could donate or raise all on their own, though I certainly don’t think it’s the responsibility of participating celebrities to remedy the fundraising failure.

It appears the organization failed to adequately assess the value of a “celebrity death” on the campaign’s target public. Digitally killing off Kim Kardashian, an incessant-twitterer, and other celebrities alike may generate some level of awareness, but will followers and the general public pay to merely revive her twitter feed? Digital deaths, while novel, are cheap attempts to raise money, while in essence, the general public is simply paying for celebrities to perform a function they would otherwise already engage in, knowing full well that Kim Kardashian will continue to Twitter with or without this campaign.

It’ll be interesting to see how long the agonizing campaign death will drag on, and what the exit strategy will be in the event the organizations admits defeat. My advice? Celebrities are only able to fundraise when they have a pulse.

For those interested in supporting the cause, please visit:

What Do You Think: Was this tactic effective, or does the campaign place too much importance on celebrity and not enough emphasis on the mission?