This Viral Pro-Life Image Has Been Liked, Shared More Than a Million Times on Facebook

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 14, 2015   |   5:07PM   |   Dublin, Ireland

Every day, millions of people share all kinds of pro-life images on Facebook that take on legalized abortion. Some of the images are witty, some informative, some graphic and some feature beautiful images of unborn babies.

But a pro-life group in Ireland has what it thinks is one of the most-shared pro-life images on Facebook, with one it says has been shared and liked over a million times.

Here is the image and a snippet of thinking from the pro-life group Youth Defence in Ireland about what led to the image and how well it performed when shared on social media:

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Everyone knows that social media is a powerful way to grow the pro-life message. But the internet, and especially Facebook, is a crowded and noisy place, and catching the public’s attention is not as easy as it seems.

That’s why the runaway success of this powerful pro-life image is so remarkable. It has been liked, shared and commented on a phenomenal MILLION times on Facebook. I’ve never seen a pro-life post come anywhere close to that for organic growth and reach. It’s a tremendous achievement.

It wasn’t produced by an expensive and slick marketing company, though this kind of global engagement on social media is what corporations are willing to spend a small fortune on.

Instead it was put together, like so much of what is currently making a huge impact on Facebook and YouTube, by the creative team in Youth Defence who now have a global reach for their innovative and progressive pro-life messaging which is changing how people think about abortion.

When Youth Defence first shared the image and it started to take off right across the world, they showed it to some people who are pretty experienced in media and marketing. Some of them loved it: they pointed to the arresting image, the simple message, the eye-catching nature of a photo of a child taken just after birth.

One commented that the photo reflected a dramatic style of painting called tenebrism, which used a technique called chiaroscuro where there are striking contrasts of light and dark. Think of Carrivagio’s painting, the Taking of Christ, he said, and look at that photo. It has the same use of light and shade, and the same arresting effect.

Then there was the succinct phrasing: Every child Deserves a Birthday. It says everything in five words, and it struck a chord for good reason, they argued.

Others had an entirely different view. They thought it would be better to use a smiling baby, to leave out the words ‘Stop Abortion’ and one thought the photo was too dramatic, and looked like a baby that had been aborted.

Clearly, a million engagements on Facebook means the first group were correct.