Will Lady Gaga's Social Death Make You Donate for World AIDS Day?

Today, a crop of A-list celebrities are deleting their Twitter accounts in honor of World AIDS Day to raise money for the disease. Lady Gaga, who became the most popular Twitter user in the world this summer, is included in this group, which has sworn not to resume tweeting until people can raise $1 million for the Keep A Child Alive campaign. Is it the fact that we will miss these celebrities’ tweets, or just the creativity of the campaign itself that will get the job done?

World Aids Day is actually a worldwide trend on Twitter, and is therefore earning awareness through tweets with information and tweets of empathy and solidarity. But this “Digital Death” campaign is taking Twitter to a new level. Besides Gaga, the other celebrities participating are Alicia Keys (global ambassador for the project), Ryan Seacrest, Kim Kardashian, Justin Timberlake, Serena Williams, P. Diddy, Jay Sean, Khloe Kardashian, Usher, David LaChapelle, Daphne Guinness, Bronson Pelletier, Swiss Beatz, Janelle Monae, Kimberley Cole, the Buried Life, and Elijah Wood. The Keep a Child Alive Foundation simply urges people simply to “Buy Life” — and so our instructions are clear: You simply need to make a donation to get these high-profile people back on Twitter.

But the most compelling part of this celebrity campaign doesn’t seem to be the tweeting aspect. That is, how much will you realistically miss any one of these celebrities on your timeline? The general idea behind a “digital death,” though, is definitely compelling, as are the promotional materials they have put together. Each celebrity has a photo of his or herself in a coffin with the words “So-and-So is Dead”:

The photo combines a provocative statement with a provocative image. Indeed, the front page of the website also boldly announces “14.2 Million Children Orphaned By AIDS in Africa.” The site also lists 4 main things that the donation goal of $1 million can do: run an HIV/AIDS clinic in Kenya for a year, run a child rescue program in South India for three years, provide medicine, food, and support to orphans in South Africa for a year, and expand the safe-house project in India.

And so the project is well-communicated and the Twitter aspect of the digital death is a smart move to bring this specific World AIDS Day target into the social media sphere, but missing our celebrities tweets does not seem to be at the heart of it.

Does this campaign strategy make you want to donate?

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