Project charity WATERisLIFE, focus on raising awareness about the lack of clean, disease free water in the developing world. The charity aims to bring filters to children all over the world so they can drink safe clean water for one year, “The WATERisLIFE straw is a small, portable filtration device that provides pure, clean drinking water whenever it is immersed into a water source (just like a normal straw). This straw however saves lives on a daily basis by filtering out waterborne diseases – which accounts for over 6,500 deaths every day – 5,000 of those being children.” (http://www.waterislife.com/the-straw/what-is-the-straw/) The charity has used various campaigns to raise awareness of the issue and their work in third world countries.
One particular video campaign I found powerful is #BucketList. The video focuses on the life of one four year old boy, Nkaitole, from Kenya. Early on in the video the viewers are given the information that Nkaitole has a 1 in 5 chance of dying before he reaches the age of five. From the beginning of the video campaign I could already feel it having a very strong emotional effect on me, showing the powerful affect this video has on the viewers.
While I personally find that emotive campaigns usually are not effective, this one certainly is. The use of the boy’s narration, clips of him happy and smiling shows the viewer the work this charity has done and can do for Nkaitole and children like him all over the world. The clips of a happy smiling young boy enjoying things in life we take for granted makes the viewer emotional in the right way, they feel encouraged to help in whatever way they can do by either donating money, volunteering themselves or just simply sharing the video with family and friends of on a social media site to spread the word and get others involved with this worthwhile cause. The bucket list of the young child makes the viewer put things in perspective, things such as going on a plane, playing soccer and riding in a hot air balloon should not be ticked off by the age of four years old because you might die before you reach the age of five. It makes the viewer emotional, for seeing this child so happy and smiling but also for the knowledge that he might not get to five years old because of unsafe drinking water. One thing that really hit me was the music used when Nkaitole says he’s never seen the ocean before, the clip of the young child standing in front of the ocean as the music slows right down has a really emotional effect on the viewers, I myself saw the ocean as a baby, I’ve seen it countless times and never thought anything off it, it makes the viewer realise what a huge deal this is for the little boy and how happy he is to have seen the ocean, this is followed by a clip of him happily running alongside the ocean as the music picks up again. The use of music in this ad influences emotions in the viewer, causing them to engage more with the life of this child and realise how privileged we all are.
The video uses the emotions of the viewers as a strength, they do not show clips of children in pain or sorrow, they instead show clips of one child enjoying various things that we all take for granted putting the focus on the importance of the happiness of this child and billions of other children rather than what they have to face on a daily basis, this instead of making the viewer feel helpless, fills them with hope that maybe if they help this cause in any way they can, other children like Nkaitole will be able to experience things that make them happy, and maybe they’ll live beyond five years old if we’re able to help this cause raise money for safer drinking water in the developing world. The video ends with the statement “Unsafe drinking water is one of the leading causes of death in children under 5”. The emotive clips followed by this statement has a powerful impact on the viewers, they are left thinking about this child and how billions of other children are living without the basic human right of access to clean, safe drinking water.
Because of their use of emotive aspects of the video, showing the happiness of Nkaitole and being told the hard facts about waterbourne disease deaths, I feel this particular campaign is more effective than other campaigns that focus on the sorrow and pain these people face. It gives the viewer hope that they can make a difference, that people do care and there are people out there already making a difference and that we can help in whatever way we chose no matter how big or small, while also providing the viewer with the shocking facts that make them think about how we take water for granted, and how privileged we are to live with the basic human right of clean safe water.
Video from – http://waterislife.com/media/videos/