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How Wealth Inequality Spiraled Out of Control

Entered in Long Form Video


Wealth inequality is eating this country alive. Elon Musk's wealth, for example, has surpassed $200 billion. It would take the median U.S. worker over 4 million years to make that much.

Here it is: The full story of wealth inequality in America.

In the 1970s, the wealthiest 1 percent owned about 20 percent of the nation’s total household wealth. Now, they own over 35 percent. Additiionally, the top 1% holds 15x more wealth than the bottom 50% combined.

And? This is not a partisan issue; the majority of Americans, both Democrats and Republicans, believe the ultra rich should pay higher taxes. 

Video objective: One of the most important things we can do as individuals is take the time to understand the realities of wealth inequality in America and how the system has become rigged in favor of those at the top. We produced this education video to convey and depict how wealth inequality is worse than it has been in a century. We seek to engage and motivate viewers to help stop this vicious cycle — and demand an economy that works for the many, not one that concentrates more and more wealth in the hands of a privileged few. 

Video goal: Use compelling visual narrative to educate as many people — from a range of demographics and viewpoints — as possible about the seriousness of rising wealthy inequality, and what we can all do to put America on a fairer path for the many not the few. 

Strategy and Execution

Inequality Media educates and engages the public about inequality and imbalance of power through the use of digital media. Using videos featuring our co-founder, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich and others, we aim to debunk lies and break down solutions to the economic and structural issues plaguing our country. We provide a platform for people to learn, share ideas, and mobilize communities to make change for the common good. Specifically, we use “social video” as effectively as possible to sound the alarm on widening economic inequality and its consequences to our economy and our democracy. Our videos frame — and reframe — the pressing issues of our time through an economic lens, including as a reaction to the media and others missing critical context for what's happening in the news. We believe in the power of narrative propelled by technology, and in the power of an informed and engaged audience to bring about change.

We use a multi-platform strategy to reach our viewers and ensure maximum engagement with our content. Our videos have enjoyed rapid and consistent growth; we’ve increased viewership by over 50% year-over-year every year since our founding in 2015. In total, Inequality Media has produced over 300 videos – plus over 280 live broadcasts – which have been viewed over 500 million times by its 6 million followers spanning every state in the nation. This particular video was released on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok, and YouTube in order to reach a variety of viewers across demographics and viewpoints. This video received over 1 million views and over 45,000 engagements across platforms.

We have a nesting dolls approach to messaging; we hit upon the same themes using different modalities, from short videos (expaliners, or TikTok videos that use memes to get a point across) static posts, to essays and data visualizaitons, to longer videos (over two minute) explainer videos such as this one. This video serves as a cornerstone for the key issue of "wealth inequality". Additional posts and videos ladder up into this same message, ensuring those learners consuming our content receive thematically-similar infomraiton if different formats. 

We purposely design our videos to be as "evergreen" as possible. This allows the video content to have a longer lifespan on social, while ensuring we're able to repost the videos over time, pegging them to the newscycle and tethering them to trending stories of the day. 

This video takes advantage of high-quality bespoke motion graphic animations which draw viewers in and translate to longer watch times, more engagements, and, ultimately, "deeper learning." The pedagogical video design helps to ensure those engaging and commenting pose questions and have conversations about the content. 

Finally, the video features potential solutions to the problem of how to decrease America's growing wealth gap. Research shows  that viewers are more likely to feel hopeful and take action — as opposed to resigning to feelings of cynicism — if tangible, viable policies are presented as part of the video narrative. 





"How Wealth Inequality Spiraled Out of Control" performed exceptionally well as it relates both to platform averages and our page's typical patterns. 

This video received over 1 million views and over 45,000 engagements across platforms, with 640k of those views and 24k of those engagements coming from Facebook alone. On Instagram, the video received 43k views and 3,300 engagements, including a comment from Senator Nina Turner who formerly served Ohio's 25th District. Singificantly, 340k views and over 17k engagements were on YouTube where the video reflected an average view duration that was almost 4x our average view duration. Notably, this video also obtained over 9M impressions with an aaverage percentage viewd of over 51%, and has garnered over 36k hours of watch time.

On Twitter, where expaliner videos tend to get less traction and reach than on other platforms, the video had a substantial number of engagements and was reposted by serveral political commentaros and others, including John Cusak who has 1.7m followers of his on the platform.

Some feedback / testimonials from commenters includes:

-"Making economics clear and simple to non-economists is some saintly work."

-"This is an impressive video! Thanks for educating the public and raising our collective public financial intelligence needed to hopefully alter the course of the nation’s democratic experiment."

-"Absolutely brilliant. There were more facts and useful bits of economics packed into these 12 minutes than you find in most university degree programs."


Video for How Wealth Inequality Spiraled Out of Control

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Inequality Media


Entry Credits