Orbis Don’t Look Away

There are 39 million blind people around the world who are candidates for a surgery that would restore their vision, but unfortunately many of those people cannot afford the operation. Orbis, a nonprofit organization that works to prevent and treat blindness, started the Don’t Look Away campaign. Visitors to the campaign site watch a video through the eyes of a child who has just had the surgery. As the doctor unwraps the eye bandages, the patient sees his or her mother for the first time. The experience is emotional and hopes to encourage viewers to donate much-needed funds.

Why It’s Hot?

The campaign site utilizes HTML5 to operate the video and WebRTC to manage the webcam, which can detect a viewer’s eyes and face. When the viewer looks away from the computer, the film goes dark. Users are shown the number of other viewers who have also chosen not to look away and are urged to share the experience through social media. There were 95K views in the first four weeks of the campaign, and its donations covered the cost of 14K eye operations to cure blindness. This campaign shows how technology can convey emotions and personal experiences that can be shared and viewed by people around the world. Technology in campaigns such as this can raise awareness and encourage donations to help others.

Brands Utilize YouTube Stars

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Noah Ritter (age 5) is a YouTube star, known as ‘apparently kid,’ after his first appearance in an interview on live TV, in which he excessively used the word ‘apparently.’ The apparently kid is extremely cute and entertaining to watch. His Youtube video has 15,602,671 views currently and he is among so many YouTube stars (such as Bat Dad) who have immense followings. This 5-year-old recently landed a commercial for Freshpet pet food in which he continues to use his catch phrase while also promoting the brand.
Why It’s Hot?
Not only is the apparently kid hilarious and adorable, but this sparked my interest because it shows how a brand is capitalizing on a YouTube stars who has existing followers and fan base. This summer we had a brainstorm about potentially utilizing YouTube stars for FiOS. The team discussed how it would be done and how the star would be chosen. The concerns mentioned in the brainstorm was that the YouTube stars would not want to promote FiOS and that it could be overtly branded, rendering it ineffective. It is interesting to see how Freshpet approached this and used the apparently kid in their commercial. YouTube stars are a new version of celebrities and I wonder whether or not more brands will follow and utilize YouTube stars and in what ways.