The rise of videos going viral has become a successful marketing tool for the LGBT community. During the month of March, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden endorsed marriage equality through a “viral” video while LGBT organizations and regular people have showed their LGBT support.
“It can’t be determined ahead of time which videos will be successful because there are so many and they’re all so different,” Marriage Equality USA’s Social Media Director Thom Watson told 429Magazine.
“But the videos of celebrities are very important. These videos help us understand that we have straight allies and that they are relatable.”
In 2012, Zach Wahls’ video speaking on behalf of his mothers had a successful response while Shane Bitney Crone’s “It Could Happen To You” shed light on the lack of rights for gay couples and inspired a documentary.
Watson noted the video of two gay dads upstaged by their loving son, and the “GetUP! Action for Australia” marriage equality video was the most successful with over one million views.
“There’s no formula for a good viral, but the successful ones are when it’s raw and presents real people – people that you can relate to,” said Watson.
They are not only working for specific causes or campaigns. Lesbian student Kirsten Bledsoe asked actress Mila Kunis to be her prom date, holding a 6-pack of Blue Moon in her video, while a fraternity in Boston supported their transgender brother and his gender reassignment surgery in a fundraising video.
There have also been many organizations that have promoted their ideologies on marriage equality, such as AllOut and the Coalition for Equal Marriage (CEM). Allout and CEM received over 300,000 views for their videos.
The opposite can happen, however, like when a teenager’s anti-marriage equality rap received national attention.
Watson notes two ways to combat such ads.
“We can either give them additional attention as they become their worst enemy and show the extremes of their embarrassing bigotry,” said Watson. “The other approach is spoofing by combating with our own humor.”
The “Gay Men Will Marry Your Girlfriends” video became a notable “spoof” as they took a humorous stance on marriage equality. The video has received over four million views and multiple responses from straight men, lesbians and straight girls.
Another example is “The ultimate anti-gay marriage ad” which overly dramatizes some of the more ridiculous arguments about how gay marriage will lead to the destruction of heterosexual unions.
Undoubtedly, the video medium has become the paramount means of communicating in today’s modern, fast-paced world where information is disseminated quickly and with ease through the Internet. Getting a video to go viral might not be easy, but it helps bring attention to a cause and a goal.