It's been over a month since Joseph Kony became one of the most famous people in the world, and the historic social video campaign that made him so continues on. To date, Kony 2012 has surpassed 180 million views and is well on its way to becoming the most-watched social video ad of all time. If it keeps at its current pace, it will surpass Evian's Live Young campaign in less than two weeks and overtake Blentec: Will It Blend?, currently at 195 million views, by mid May.
Yet, as all campaigns and media fires eventually do, Kony 2012 has slowed significantly since its initial explosion. During the height of the campaign, the first few days after launch, Kony 2012 was driving an average 16.5 million views daily. The following week, that number fell to 5.8 million views. The drop-off has been significant since then, with the campaign averaging 360,000+ views daily this week.
The biggest day for Kony 2012 was March 8, the fourth day of its campaign, when it generated over 41.3 million views, the most views ever produced in a single day from any campaign. For comparison, M&M's 2012 Super Bowl ad, Just My Shell, has 41.7 million views to date and is the most-watched campaign of the big game. On the following day, Kony 2012 produced over 25.5 million views, trumping the 25.3 million views of Honda's Matthew's Day Off, another top five Super Bowl campaign this year.
But Kony 2012's success is about more than its unprecented view growth. One stat that frequently gets overlooked is the number of videos it inspired audiences to upload. To date, there are over 2,300 video clips associated with the campaign across the Web. Two thousand clips for a video ad campaign gets into feature film territory. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 has 2,600 clips associated with it (it also has 141 million views, significantly less than Kony 2012). The majority of the videos in Kony 2012 are from people uploading their own responses to the campaign.
The historic numbers speak to how truly unique Kony 2012 is in the pantheon of viral successes. And, while it's tempting to say that we'll never see one quite like it again, no one could have predicted the impact and reach Kony 2012 has had across the globe. With Kony 2012, Invisible Children tapped into what the Web is all about – nearly unlimited potential for sharing ideas, no matter who you are or where you come from. Kony 2012 is simply the biggest example yet of how powerful ideas can be when their time has come.