A couple of weeks ago the words “Joseph Kony” would have meant little to you or me. And not because we haven’t heard of him before. We have been hearing about Kony for over two decades. The fact that today I do not need to preface this article with a description of Joseph Kony or his atrocities is, in itself, a significant development for marketing communication professionals.
But, our awareness for Kony 2012 has come at a price. Not the money it took to make the film. Rather, the professional and personal accusations suffered by Jason Russell, Ben Keesey, and their non-profit organization Invisible Children. The virility of this criticism is as unprecedented as the video that triggered it. The firestorm of accusation hasn’t just singed the reputation of the Invisible Children brand. It has singed the reputations of every brand (corporate, product, or personal) that has endorsed the campaign. In my latest Marketing Moxie column for Talent Zoo, I explore the implications for brands that choose to support #KONY2012 and, perhaps, the greater implications for opting out. The discussion around this issue has been quite lively. I'd like to hear your take.