To say that David Cameron got it wrong when he dubbed Ed Miliband and Russell Brand’s vlog interview as “a joke” would be a huge understatement. He got it very wrong, for little did he realise the sheer power of social media and brand advocates.
With the rise of famous video bloggers (such as Zoella), vlogging is a particularly hot topic and one which we’ve covered extensively in our latest white paper. This has yet again been highlighted over the past week, with the debate surrounding Miliband’s vlog with Russell Brand which went viral. But just why did it work so well?
Labour took their chances
Anyone who’s aware of Russell Brand’s opposition to the current state of UK politics might have anticipated a shameless ridiculing of party leaders in a bid to expose the flaws in their policies, and this is perhaps what the comedian set-out to achieve. The result was quite the contrary.
An interview so close to the election is risky in anyone’s books; it presents leaders with unwanted opportunities to fluff their lines, lose votes and fall at the final hurdle. So speaking to Russell Brand, of all people, was a risk. But it paid off. The vlog has been viewed by millions.
They identified an influencer
Whether they intended to or not, the Labour party has landed themselves an unlikely advocate in Russell Brand. And a powerful one he may well prove to be.
As we well know, advocates can be anyone – from customers to employees, social fans to celebrities - but it is not necessarily the volume of advocates that is important but instead it is how they use their influential power.
With an enormous online and media presence, Brand has numerous platforms from which to voice his opinions. And incidentally, he’s told the people to vote Labour.
They reached their audience
As a brand, or indeed a political party, it is easy to distribute a message or promotion to the masses, but it's perhaps not as effective as reaching a select few valuable influencers who will spread the word on your behalf. That's what the vlog did. With millions subscribed to Brand's YouTube channel, the interview fell on the ears of Labour's existing and potential audience - predominately young people - and it's gone well and truly viral.
With the election just hours away, it will be interesting to see the part that this particular vlog (and social media in general) will play in the results, and if Brand's brand advocacy will sway voters...