Making Him Famous: The Kony 2012 Campaign to Catch Joseph Kony

Rasmus Johnsen, Kasper Worm Petersen

    Research output: Other contributionTeaching case


    In 2012, the viral campaign ‘KONY 2012’ made media history. The 30-minutes video advertising the capture and prosecution of the infamous Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony became the most popular video on YouTube ever. The campaign video had a fairly simple message: in order to catch Kony, the world would have to learn the truth about the warlord and the activities of ‘The Lord’s Resistance Army’ (LRA), the group of rebels he controlled. ‘KONY 2012’ set a new standard for on-line campaign sets. Yet, it also quickly raised critical voices, accusing the film crew of oversimplifying the complex conflicts in Central Africa, of drawing on emotions rather than on facts and of manipulating its audience. The campaign was supposed to culminate on 20 April 2012, with supporters taking to the street to demonstrate and thus put pressure on the US government to intervene in Uganda, but was largely a failure. The case has been taught in the context of the BSc program on philosophy and business administration at Copenhagen Business School, but is generally suitable for classes with a high level of student involvement and reflectivity, for example in marketing, media or leadership.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2013
    Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
    PublisherCopenhagen Business School, CBS
    Number of pages9
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    SeriesCBS free case collection

    Bibliographical note

    Case - Reference no. 913-021-1

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