RATM for UK Xmas #1 - Potential social media coup, but how?

Brief intro/recap:

A viral internet campaign has been looking to topple the 4-year domination of the singles chart Christmas number 1 spot (a big deal over here) by the X Factor (a UK ‘make a pop star’ type TV programme) by getting people to buy ‘Killing in the Name’ by Rage Against the Machine instead. The X Factor’s recent winner, Joe McElderry, is pitching a cover of ‘The Climb’ (originally sung by Miley Cirus).

The campaign’s doing pretty well:

  • the FB group has ~850k members, and
  • as of Wednesday RATM had ~250k sales vs ~215k for Joe
  • big UK media coverage and backing by other artists

RATM were briefly odds on to win, but the bookmakers are now favouring Joe again and I agree:

  • the majority of people who want to buy either single online, whether or not for campaign purposes, will have done so already
  • Joe will get a big boost of CD sales on Saturday (likely ~200k) when people do their final Christmas shopping, whereas RATM won’t
    My question is: What should the RATM campaign do to win now?

It’s got 2 days to pull something out of the bag and, if it does, this would be one of the best demonstrations of the power of social media yet (I do musically prefer RATM, but I’m not asking about taste, symbolism or record labels here).

A group has just been started to try to get people to do mass downloads on Saturday to counter Joe’s CD sales, but I don’t think that is likely to get far enough. To win they need to mobilise a new part of the market.

So, any ideas?

I follow both Q and Mojo on Twitter and I was confused about this whole thing… thanks for clarifying.

Just so I’m in the know, RATM have not reunited, yes? This is intended to be a thumb in the eye for Simon Cowell et al? Why was RATM chosen? I didn’t even know they had a following in the UK.

Possibly the choice of song has something to do with the repetition of the words, “fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me” in the lyrics?

Surely there’s been a song written to ‘stick it to the man’ since the early 90’s :stuck_out_tongue:

Unfortunately, most of them were written by the man. :wink:

I have this sneaking suspicion that the members of RATM wouldn’t like to be involved in anything like this at all.

From the Rage Against the Machine website:

Well, shit, I hereby admit that I was wrong. But an “historic people’s campaign?” That’s pushing it.

I’m still gunning for the “Muppet Bohemian Rhapsody for Crimbo #1” campaign. And I’m American.

I have never understood the whole Christmas #1 concept (I first heard about it in Love, Actually) and this just further confuses me.

Why wouldn’t some lame, harmless fluff win every year? That’s how the music industry operates.

All Billy Mack needed to offer was a single nude Xmas performance. I guess that’s inflation for you.

The giant capital letters indicate a certain amount of ironic exaggeration. I think RATM get that this “campaign” is only semi-serious. But the size of the X Factor effect in Britain is something to behold. I was wondering what “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey was doing in the UK top 10, and the answer is that they apparently do that song on the X Factor sometimes.

Well, I’m very happy to be proved wrong :slight_smile:

Via Q and Mojo I have seen Tom Morello comment on this a few times. I believe he most recently said that RATM would play a show in the UK if they were successful.

Justin_Bailey, it is usually fluff, and the Brits love their novelty records. So Chas and Dave, Slade, George Michael, Paul McCartney, Cliff Richard, or whomever goes in the studio, knocks out some pap in late November, and vies for the #1 spot. I remember this being a particularly huge deal during Band Aid’s campaign for “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” in 1985. There was some tax levied on the single, and Geldof was trying to get Thatcher to take it off. There was a particularly amusing exchange between the two at some function where Sir Bob was arguing with the PM… and true to her Iron Lady moniker, she didn’t budge. But I do think they were successful, and ultimately, it was the number 1 single for Christmas that year.

puggyfish – per our Registration Agreement:

I have removed the links from your post. Please don’t do this again.

twickster, Cafe Society moderator

Sorry about that, wasn’t intending to break any rules. I posted those links to show what was driving the event - they felt like citations in the context.

Could be a more general issue with discussing social media…

And RATM declares victory:

Not a problem – I left the thread (and discussion) open and issued no warning, but felt that the links were too close to “go vote for this” to be appropriate.

It is, indeed, an interesting use of social media!

What a great victory for people power, and anti-capitalism. It must be nice for those anarchists at Sony BMG, getting the payoff from a two horse race where they own both horses.

Not to mention the irony of a song with lyrics that say “fuck you, I wont do what you tell me” becoming number one because some people told everyone to download it.

Seriously, though, couldn’t they have picked a better RATM song? Why not “Down Rodeo” or “People of the Sun?” Both are vastly superior to “Killing in the Name.”