Hollywood celebrities commit collective digital suicide for ad campaign against AIDS

By December 01, 2010
Kim Kardishian in digital coffin

Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake, Kim Kardashian, Elijah Wood, Usher and other celebrities sacrificed their lives today, December 1st. Well, at least their digital lives.

Keep a Child Alive – co-founded by singer Alicia Keys – is a foundation that fights AIDS by bringing medical care, anti-retroviral treatment, education and support to orphans who live with HIV, in India and several African countries. They are launching a new ad campaign today called “Buy Life” that is a rather disruptive one. They asked celebrities to commit a “digital suicide” on social networks. Lady Gaga and her friends agreed to remain silent on Facebook and Twitter until Keep A Child Alive has raised 1 million dollars. When they reach this goal, the celebrities are “resuscitated”. Basically, by paying to bring celebrities back to life in the virtual world, people “buy the lives” of orphans infected by AIDS.

So, how do you get your message across the Web by remaining silent on social networks? KCA’s answer is easy: be spectacular. That’s why not only did they ask celebrities to temporarily die on Facebook and Twitter, but they also staged their digital deaths. If you go on the Buy Life Youtube channel, you can watch the pictures of all the participating celebrities, lying “dead” in a coffin. Even more exciting, each of them left a “Last Tweet” and a digital testament. 

In order to donate money to bring their idols back to their online life and “buy” a child’s real life, fans and followers have three options: send a text message, donate online or buy a BuyLife t-shirts. The t-shirt has a giant barcode on it, and anyone can scan the barcode with their iPhone – works with Stickybits.

Of course, it’s hard to tell how much impact this ad campaign will have. One thing is sure, though: the concept is pretty interesting and this mirning the BuyLife website is overloaded. Probably a good sign, so far.

The only thing you can wonder about now is what happens if the fundraiser never reaches 1 million dollars? Will Lady Gaga remain digitally dead for ever?

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