I am taking a break from Game of Thrones to talk about something happening in the UK which has caught the public imagination.
OK many of you have heard of the X factor and Rage against the Machine in a fight for the UK Christmas number one. At first glance it’s a wonderful piece of silliness, with the possibility of ‘killing in the name of’ been played at 2;45 on Christmas Day afternoon on Primetime BBC one Christmas Top of the Pops.
Looking at it we are seeing directly clash between traditional media and social media. The X factor stands with the backing of 3 months of 3 hours a week, prime time TV programming/commercials for the winners single, 100’s of pages of newspaper press coverage about the show, the biggest media buzz in main stream British media, and the might of Sony’s PR department behind it.
Rage against the Machine didn’t even involve them selves in the start of this venture. It was a married couple of unknown people starting face book group, in some faceless suburb of England.
So we have it the combined might of British Traditional media lined up against a Facebook group, and surprisingly at the moment the Facebook group is winning.
Currently Rage against the machines 16 year old metal classic is out selling , the X factors Joe McEldreys single via 2 to 1, and the bookies have made Rage Against the Machine favourite to get the Christmas number 1 slot in the UK.
We still have a few days to go but it is very possible that a Facebook group (admittedly now with 750,000 members) may cause one of the biggest media upsets of the year.
The reason I suppose is zeitgeist, as we move from the age of dominance of broadcast media into power of social media, people have actually got frustrated with being told what to buy, what to watch, what to like by big media. They are just loving the chance to do something to tip the balance, however trivial, unimportant and slightly daft.
This is not a clash of RATM against Joe McElderry, or even hard music and soft music, it’s a clash of media broadcast vrs social, and a clash of cultures modern vrs post modern. People seem to be truly delighted at the possibility of a facebook group defying the odds, even people who aren’t RAGE fans are now buying the single.
However we need to understand there have been numerous groups and attempts, to subvert this process before, this year was an attempt to get journey(?????) to number one as well. Only this one has taken off.
This goes to illustrate that though social marketing may work its still a very hit and miss process. Your average facebook group will not be able to have a great effect on anything mainstream for the vast majority of the time.
What does this mean, in itself nothing, but it is probably a symbol of social media gaining more and more influence and having a greater ability to upset the apple cart of traditional big media within our society. or maybe its just as Roald Dahl said “A little nonsense now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” and it means nothing..