What is it?
I’m Gonna Be Your Friend is a campaign that supports Save the Children’s appeal to raise funds for urgently-needed food, water and medicine in east Africa. The campaign includes a short film, created by the director Kevin MacDonald, showing footage of East Africa, and set to Bob Marley & the Wailers’ song High Tide or Low Tide.
What can the public do?
The video is being hosted on YouTube, with a link to a specially-created micro-site enabling people to donate money to the appeal. They are also encouraged to share the video with friends on Facebook and Twitter, and to download the song. The hashtag #beafriend on Twitter has been set up.
Why the Marley link?
High Tide or Low Tide was specially chosen by the Marley family for the resonance of a line in the song, "I'm gonna be your friend", which provides the title of the campaign and the message shared by friends across their social networks. Rita Marley, Bob's widow, said: "Not one child should be denied food or water. Not one child should suffer. Along with Save the Children, we must stand up together as friends to put a stop to this, to feed our children and to save their lives."
What else has happened?
As part ot thes campaign, more than 150 musicians, artists, sports stars and celebrities have posted details of the campaign to their Twitter and Facebook fans - the charity teamed up with Universal Island and XIX Entertainment to get the support of their stars for the campaign. They include Eminem, Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, David Beckham, U2, Beyonce, the Rolling Stones, Muhammad Ali, Jennifer Lopez, Coldplay, Elton John, Black Eyed Peas, Lewis Hamilton, Britney Spears, Kanye West, Madonna and Rihanna.
What’s this I hear about Google?
The search engine put its weight behind the campaign by adding a link to the YouTube video on its homepage for the day on Thursday. Other organisations on-board include Universal Music Group, Yahoo!, Facebook, Zynga, MSN, YouTube and Twitter.
Third Sector verdict:
The simple video effectively captures what is happening in East Africa and the Bob Marley song provides an appropriate soundtrack. The video has already been watched 1,377,616 times, proving how effective the celebrity tie-ups and Google link have been.