I’ve always been interested in the power of video as a form of storytelling, especially when supporting international development issues. So I decided to look at 10 UK charities to see what their most viewed video is. It’s hard to tell whether the videos shared organically or whether there was a substantial amount of advertising, so I have included the number of likes and comments below each video and also a very brief description of the content. Here they are in alphabetical order by charity – rather than listed by popularity.
ActionAid UK – a life transformed by ActionAid’s sponsorship programme | Child Sponsorship
Subscribers – 2.47k – Video Published – 21/11/2012 – Views – 117,000 – Likes – 68 – Comments 2
Narrated by Purna Kala Shah, who has been a midwife in Nepal for 26 years. Purna came from a poor background and her family could not afford education. She was sponsored by ActionAid supporters from the age of 12 which has enabled her to follow her career dreams.
CARE International UK – Lendwithcare animated film
Subscribers – 1.4k – Video Published – 11/4/2016 – Views – 57,000 – Likes – 8 – Comments 0
This animation is narrated by Joanna Lumley, a well-known UK actress. The animation starts with a depiction of a young girl, Hope, with a story about her loving to braid hair, but her family are poor and can’t afford education (seems familiar, see film above). We then jet across the world to Emma who gets taken to the hairdressers with her mum as a treat each month. However, one day in the salon she reads about the lendwithcare scheme and as a result Emma’s mum Barbara lends the money to Hope who sets up her salon. None of the countries are mentioned but the supposed “developing countries” are both rural compared to the urban western donor.
Christian Aid – Refugee Appeal: Helping the stranger
Subscribers – 5.09k – Video Published – 10/9/2015 – Views – 600,000 – Likes – 18 – Comments 1
A short fundraising video for refugees in Northern Iraq. Mainly images of children eating and drinking with text overlaid quoting from the Bible – Matthew 25:35
Comic Relief – Mr Bean’s Wedding
Subscribers – 804k – Video Published – 16/3/2009 – Views – 24,400,000 – Likes – 79 – Comments 334
I can’t stand Mr Bean so refused to watch this 🙂 But obviously a lot of people disagree with me.
Doctors Without Borders – How The Body Reacts To Tuberculosis
Subscribers – 27.4k – Video Published – 20/3/2014 – Views – 693,500 – Likes – 4,700 – Comments 2,130
A nicely designed infographic video giving information about tuberculosis.
Oxfam GB – Flashmob: Pregnant women breakdancing in London
Subscribers – 18.9k – Video Published – 22/9/2008 – Views – 1,800,000 – Likes – 4,000 – Comments 613
I’ve used this video in several lectures. Love it!
Save the Children UK – Most Shocking Second a Day Video
Subscribers – 145k – Video Published – 5/3/2014 – Views – 74,000,000 – Likes – 1,000,000 – Comments – turned off
I’ve also shown this video in a lot of lectures. I believe it is the most viewed UK charity video to date with 74 million views. I’m sure it has very high production costs and I suspect had a decent amount of advertising spend. However, it’s a great film.
Sightsavers – A message from students in Sierra Leone
Subscribers – 1.7k – Video Published – 25/5/2021 – Views – 74,000 – Likes – 15 – Comments – 1
Narrated by children in Sierra Leone asking people to sign an open letter to demand world leaders to put children with disabilities at the heart of education plans.
Tearfund – What is Poverty?
Subscribers – 5.5k – Video Published – 3/6/2015 – Views – 494,500 – Likes – 4.4k – Comments – 261
This is my favourite of all the videos. I’m really surprised I’ve not seen this before. It made me go cold at the end. A brilliant video about some of the causes of poverty. I could write a whole blog post about this. Maybe I will one day 🙂
World Vision UK – Zeinab’s Story | Child Marriage
Subscribers – 2.1k – Video Published – 14/8/2015 – Views – 127,500 – Likes – 769 – Comments – 138
Narrated by Zeinab, a 14 year old child bride. I felt uncomfortable watching this video and personally think it is unethical to focus on a 14 year old in a charity campaign. See my blog post from December last year discussing the use of children in charity campaigns.by