Sending out a message that “It’s not your fault” to the ladies, the video “It’s Your Fault” by All India Bakchod (AIB), starring actress Kalki Koechlin and VJ Juhi Pandey has crossed 1 million views on YouTube in just 5 days.
“It’s your fault” is a satirical response to statements made by several public figures, blaming women for the sexual assaults and rapes in India: including, apparently, a Panchayat’s decision in Udaipur to restrict girls from a minority community from carrying mobile phones and dancing at weddings, the Puducherry government’s suggestion to women to use an overcoat over school uniforms to prevent sexual crimes, the Haryana khap panchayat that claimed eating chowmein was the reason behind the rising instances of rape in the country, and godman Asaram Bapu’s suggestion of calling the man attempting to rape ‘brother’ to prevent being raped.
At the time of writing this story, the video had got 1,311,147 views and 688 shares1. Apart from being an interesting online social campaign, the video seems to have also garnered 886 subscriptions for AIB’s YouTube channel.
Here’s what I think worked for them:
Choice of medium and the impact of social media: AIB’s decision to use YouTube over television or any other medium is notable: With YouTube, video can go viral, given the ability for people to share the video and spread the word, which isn’t possible with broadcast. Every share now means another supporter who is creating more awareness. The cost of running such a campaign on television would have been quite high considering TV ad rates. In fact, given the success of the video, it’s likely that news channels will see this as a validation, and perhaps showcase the video on television.
Satire: Koechlin and Pandey’s straight face and smile throughout the video has brought out the sarcastic tone of the video. The choice of satire over drama seems to have driven home the message much better contributing to the success of the video.
The choice of content: This subject could have been dealt with in so many different ways but the decision to highlight some of these baseless claims seems to have found resonance with the online audience.
No ads: The video has not been monetized with ads, and given the subject, we doubt it will be monetized. The impact that the video has had would be completely ruined if they decide to monetize it.
AIB has now managed to create a viral video on a sensitive issue in India. But what next? What is to come off this virality, apart from the shares and awareness? One of the most common criticisms against social campaigns on social media has been that it doesn’t have a lasting impact, and creates shares and comments. What AIB can do now is that they can ask people to submit their versions of “It’s my fault”, and get them to highlight statements they feel strongly against, using YouTube’s video response features, in order to take the campaign forward.
The other thing, as IndiaToday reports, is that they’re dubbing the video in other Indian languages, to reach out to more people.
Tweet4Change by Tata Jaago Re was another interesting campaign that raised funds for organisations dealing with women’s safety. MARD (Men Against Rape & Discrimination) is also another initiative that was created on social media, but appears to have died down after its initial stint during the IPL 2013.