ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY LAUNCHES BOB MARLEY CAMPAIGN TO REACH OVER 700 MILLION FACEBOOK AND TWITTER FANS TO SUPPORT SAVE THE CHILDREN'S EAST AFRICA APPEAL
TORONTO, Ontario (09 August 2011) - Today sees the launch of a ground-breaking social media campaign, ‘I’m Gonna Be Your Friend’ supported by many of the world’s most famous names in entertainment and their fans. A global audience close to 600 million* Facebook and Twitter fans will be able to view a short film of the crisis in East Africa created by award-winning director Kevin MacDonald from footage of East Africa. The film is set to the 1973 Bob Marley & The Wailers song ‘High Tide or Low Tide’.
The campaign was developed to support Save the Children’s appeal to raise funds for the devastating food crisis affecting millions of children and their families across East Africa.
It brings together the combined resources of Universal Music Group, iTunes®, Yahoo!, Facebook, AOL, MSN, YouTube, Twitter and others to give a potential global online reach in excess of a billion people**. Many of these partners are showing the film and providing global editorial coverage, which will accompany the release of the downloadable track on the day of the launch.
From today, many icons, celebrities and artists across the world including Lady Gaga, Davi d Beckham, U2, Beyonce, Muhammad Ali, Jennifer Lopez, Muse, Coldplay, Elton John, Lewis Hamilton, Britney Spears, Bruno Mars, Robert Plant, Kanye West, Madonna, Cristiano Ronaldo, Justin Bieber, Brian May, Sting, Rihanna and many others are launching the campaign via their huge networks of friends and fans on Facebook and Twitter (#beafriend).
With over 50 global stars already signed up and more joining by the hour, the combined total of their fans and followers on the social networks is almost 600 hundred million people*. This huge number will not only help raise awareness of the scale of the crisis but also vital funds for those suffering in the region.
The food crisis in Somalia and across East Africa is the worst in decades. 10 million people are affected – many have no food, no water and have lost all their livestock. One million children in Somalia alone face starvation if help is not delivered now. Save the Children and other aid agencies have launched a huge emergency response across the region and are on the ground delivering life-saving aid.
Helping raise funds for food, water and medicine for those in East Africa, the song and film can be downloaded through ITunes, from www.imgonnabeyourfriend.org or via Bob Marley’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/bobmarley, for $1.29. The Facebook page will also feature click-through links for direct donations to Save the Children’s East Africa appeal.
The single, ‘High Tide or Low Tide’ was specially chosen by the Marley family for the resonance of the single’s lyrics, “I’m Gonna Be Your Friend”, which form the title of the campaign and a message to be shared by friends across their social networks.
Rita Marley said, “Not one child should be denied food nor 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.”
Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children said, “Save the Children, along with other aid agencies, is already supporting families with food, water and medicines. But the crisis is getting worse by the day and millions of children are facing starvation. We can stop this happening. But we need to act now. Every day counts. Please help us by downloading this powerful single and let’s stop this catastrophe getting any worse.”
-30-About Save the Children
Save the Children works in more than 120 countries. We save children’s lives. We fight for their rights. We help them fulfill their potential.
Save the Children in East Africa: Save the Children has launched an appeal for £65 million to help three million people affected by the crisis in East Africa. So far, the charity has reached almost one million people in the region with food, water, medicine and child protection. In addition to this life-saving work, we are supporting communities in drought-prone areas to build their resistance.
We have been working in Somalia for more than 20 years and have been scaling up our programmes in the country for months and are planning to triple the scale of our programmes to meet the growing needs of children and their families.
All funds raised in the UK from the download will go to Save the Children in partnership with the Disaster and Emergencies Committee (DEC) appeal that has already raised £44m from the British public.
Governments also need to do more to fund the $1.3 billion shortfall that is desperately needed to stop this crisis becoming a catastrophe.
*Breakdown of audience figures:
575 million is a cumulative total of the number of Facebook and Twitter fans and followers. The following artists have signed up to the campaign and agreed to post messages:
|TALENT||FB FANS||TWITTER FANS||TOTAL FANS|
|Mumford & Sons||2,023,550||0||2,023,550|
|Bombay Bicycle Club||194518||0||194518|
Other Partner Support – Global Reach Potential ** (Comscore 2011)
- Facebook advertising campaign
- iTunes – 220 million iTunes accounts
- Yahoo! – Will feature on every global homepage from tomorrow, 250 million users
- Youtube / Vevo – 450 Million global users with a YouTube account
- MSN – International editorial coverage, MSN – 109 million users worldwide
- AOL – UK – 11.9 million, rest of the world TBC