Rage against the machine

Today it was announced that American rock band “Rage Against The Machine” have secured the Christmas number 1 single in the UK against all expectation. This sums up the year for me.  2009 has been a year that has had 3 clear themes, the over-riding one being disenchantment as a result of the recession, followed by the networking that the time on our hands has allowed us to do, and the channels that have enabled us to do it.

In the UK, like much of the world, the X factor runs up to the week before christmas and the winner is almost guaranteed number 1 Christmas single, rushed out following the vote. Thats the plan, and in general Simon Cowell gets what Simon Cowell wants. This year something different happened!

A part-time Rock D.J. from Essex, England named Jon Morter decided to spoil the party and started a Facebook group to get the Rage Against The Machine single “Killing in the name of love” to the number 1 spot. This was more a protest against X-Factor than a love of the music. The group picked up a real head of steam and when the chart was announced today the unthinkable became a reality with X-Factor winner Joe McEldrey relegated to the number 2 spot.

It seems the campaign really took off when the group came to the attention of comedian Peter Serafinowicz ,who on December 15th posted messages to his 260,000+  Twitter followers to join the campaign. 

Former X-factor winner Steve Brookstein then signed up, along with none other than Sir.Paul McCartney joining in the protest against battery farm produced reality T.V. music. This was helped by the fact that sales are now based on downloads so supporters of the campaign simply switched from Twitter or Facebook to i-tunes, spent a few pounds and downloaded a track they may never listen to again.

I don’t know for certain but I’m willing to bet that no money was spent on marketing by the anti-X factor gang, whilst millions was spent by their opponents. This true story demonstrates the potential of social networking. If a group from your target market turn on you and gather momentum, with some high-profile support, what could be the impact on the overall brand?

 I’m aware of an Australian website “Even it up” that posts comments about recruiters and employers from the job seekers view-point. This largely centres on simple things to put right like giving feedback and communicating. With the potential for ill feeling to go viral, potentially globally, now might be a good time to take another look at brand “Recruiter” and what it stands for. These days, David’s everywhere seem to be making a habit of beating Goliaths, with a little help from social media.

Still think Social Media is not really listened to?

Be ambassadors for brand recruiter in 2010.


2 comments on “Rage against the machine

  1. Power to the people. Finally!

  2. […] I immediately tweeted that this was a big moment for Social Media, that the big issue wasn’t who won but that a social media campaign, starting with 2 people and spreading to 700,000, made a big statement to big business. I noticed other tweets saying much the same, and Bill Boorman summarised it very well in his blog. […]

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