How to Turn Video Views Into Life-Saving Dollars | Beth's Blog

How to Turn Video Views Into Life-Saving Dollars


Note from Beth: On my way to Kenya for the Ushahidi Board meeting, so enjoy this post by Manny Hernandez.

We at the Diabetes Hands Foundation started the Big Blue Test in 2009 with a simple premise meant to raise awareness about the importance of physical activity for diabetes management: testing your blood sugar, exercising 14 minutes, testing your blood sugar again and sharing the results with the community.

In 2010, we wanted to let people know about the Big Blue Test through a video that we’d hope would go viral. How viral? At least 100,000 views was our goal… not millions of views, but enough to make it one of the most popular diabetes videos on youTube (competing with Nick Jonas and Wilford Brimley).

Viral videos can’t be fabricated: we know that. They become viral. But, with the funding from a sponsor (Roche), with the advise and help of David Edelman from and Riva Greenberg from and the direction of Sean Ross, we produced the best video we could.

To help the video go viral, we got Roche to also agree to make a $0.75 donation for each view the video got up to 100,000 between Nov. 1 and Nov. 1, World Diabetes Day (i.e. up to $75,000 if we reach or pass 100,000 views). These funds will be donated to the Diabetes Hands Foundation and they will use the donation to help the Life for a Child program, run by the International Diabetes Federation, and Insulin For Life, two global, humanitarian organizations that provide diabetes medication and supplies to children in the world’s poorest countries.

Once we launched the video on Nov. 1, we asked the community (the diabetic blogosphere, nonprofit geeks, friends, family… you name it) to watch it video and share it, because (literally), each view equals a donation that will help a child with diabetes in need.

What kind of impact can $75,000 make for these programs? Ron Raab, President of Insulin For Life told us:

“Every time someone watches this video, it will make a real contribution to someone actually staying alive. These donations go a long, long way. In places we assist, like Ecuador, less than 50 dollars keeps a person needing insulin alive for an entire year as it covers the transport cost for us to send the donated insulin.”

What has the response to the campaign been so far? Amazing! At the time of this writing, we were about to hit 85,000 views, 800 likes and 370 comments and have a couple more days ahead of us to reach the 100,000 views goal. On Twitter, there have been nearly 4,000 tweets including #bigbluetest in the past 11 days.

By the time, the donation is made, the lives of thousands of children with diabetes in need will have been saved. So, if you have not watched the video yet, please check out the Big Blue Test video. If you have watched it, take a couple of minutes and watch it again. Regardless, watch it, share it and save a life.

Manny Hernandez is a social entrepreneur, community strategist, president of the diabetes hands foundation, founder of tudiabetes and estudiabetes, author of ning for dummies

5 Responses

  1. Amy Katuska says:

    Where did you get the music for this video? Was it created specifically for the video, or did you get it somewhere else?
    -Amy Katuska

  2. Glad to see the post Beth. I’m blogging about diabetes all month and this gave me a great topic for today’s post.

    One quick request: you may want to fix the Diabetes Daily link in Manny’s post as it actually links to Diabetes Stories.

    Have a great trip!

  3. @Amy, the music for the video = “Rich Doors” by New Villager. They were kind enough to let us use the track for the video. It is a song they had previously published. You can get the iTunes download link from the description of the video on YouTube.

    @Claire: what is your blog’s URL? Thanks so much for helping get the word out!

  4. Great idea! Reminds me of the Non Profit “Do Gooder” video awards that You Tube puts on each year. The contest end I think mid March. That contest also has some great videos.

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