We're all aware that internet videos are great for seeing what Grumpy Cat's up to, watching instructions for DIY tasks that you know you should have mastered by now, and laughing at people spectacularly failing at various sports tricks.
But a new charity campaign has demonstrated how entertaining clips could also go some way towards changing the world for the better.
Feel No Shame
Non-profit organization Sentebale has joined forces with a whole host of celebrities – including Prince Harry himself – to raise awareness that unacceptable levels of stigma still surround people who have HIV and Aids. Each famous face was asked to record a short video of themselves in which they revealed their biggest secret.
"Believe it or not, I get incredibly nervous before public speaking, no matter how big the crowd or the audience. And despite the fact that I laugh and joke all the time I get incredibly nervous, if not anxious actually, before going into rooms full of people when I'm wearing a suit," His Royal Highness admitted.
Paloma Faith and Nicole Scherzinger were two more of the A-list names involved in the project and uploading their confessions for all to see.
The videos were then shared worldwide via social media alongside the hashtag #Feelnoshame, with members of the public also invited to unveil their biggest secrets and join in.
Okay, so these might not be the most exciting secrets you've ever heard, but the point is that this is living proof of how quickly videos can help to spread positive messages and go some way toward driving change, in this case to potentially reduce death rates from one of the deadliest diseases in human history.
As Ban Ki-moon said, stigma is "the chief reason why the Aids epidemic continues to devastate societies around the world" – so if only a few people see these videos and start to understand why this is, the campaign has done its job.
The power of video
Of course, more than a few people have seen these clips and that's testament to the ubiquity of the media in our everyday lives. It's also why charities and marketers love them – they're everywhere and they don't need to cost a lot.
According to Digital Sherpa, the average internet user is exposed to an average of 32.2 videos a month and the media is accessed by 100 million people a day. YouTube is also the number two search engine in the world, so videos are easier than ever to find, too.
Tips for raising awareness
Whether you're a business or a charity trying to change the world, getting your message out through video is a good way to get started. And you'd do well to take a leaf out of Sentebale's book: create a fun campaign that people can join in with and make it quickly spreadable – and get Prince Harry on your side if at all possible.
Finally, don't forget to localize your clips to ensure they can be enjoyed by viewers no matter where they are in the world, something EQHO's in-house multimedia lab can help you with.