Last week Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg made a formal apology for completely messing up the UK University fee issue. The apology was recorded on video and posted on social media channel YouTube.
On any other day, this would have seemed like business as usual for a politician. “I made a mistake, I want to be re-elected, I’m making a formal apology in the hope that it will boost my popularity ratings“.
But this wasn’t any other day. Within hours, satire news site The Poke had picked up the video, messed around with the recording and created a very clever song called ‘I’m Sorry’. The site’s editors put out a note on Twitter asking for thoughts.
In a complete break with tradition, Nick Clegg responded on Twitter within a few minutes with this:
See that clever bit of PR there? Yes, Nick Clegg and his PR team knew this was going to be big and they made sure to capitalise by being the good guys. Clever.
What happened next was what the Web calls a Viral phenomenon. The song was spread around the Web (and mainstream radio, TV and the iTunes music charts) and heard by hundreds of thousands of people. I actually ‘almost’ believe Nick Clegg in the song (but not so much in the apology speech).
In poking fun at Nick Clegg, The Poke may just have saved his career. They had a good idea, it went viral and a lot of people got the message. And that is how Internet marketing works.
Here’s the video if you haven’t seen it yet.