Originaly posted 21st December 2009
Some may argue that X-Factor Joe McElderry’s cover of “The Climb” for Christmas no. 1 2009 was always going to be an “uphill struggle”, and it proved to be the case. The organic grass-roots campaign was launched by Jon and Tracy Morter on Facebook after becoming bored of the X-Factor winner topping the charts every Christmas for the last 4 years.
No doubt the results will send ITV, X-Factor producers, and more to the point Simon Cowell, into crisis talks. Why? Because even although Joe sold more singles than any other X-Factor debutant, the Facebook campaign shows a determined and gritty fight back by a sizeable group (over a million) specifically against what is perceived to be “the machine”. This is another example of bad online PR not being managed properly and spilling over into “real life”. You see, the power of the social networks is not in the technology but in its users. These users are not some strange group of freaks on the fringe but are you and me, and if they aren’t you then they will inevitable be your friend, partner, offspring or neighbour. The point is that the social networks are “real life”.
So in summary, the latest in a long line of social network phenomena chose this year’s number 1, raised over £78k for the charity Shelter (still rising with RATM also donating revenue from sales to them and another teen music charity), managed a free gig by Rage against the Machine sometime in 2010 to celebrate, lost the bookies £1 million, and broke 2 records: biggest download single ever and only Christmas no. 1 by download ever!
The only thing left now is Facebook’s choice for no. 1 in 2010…