The power of social media comes through again as a Facebook group leads to TomTom adding Brian Blessed as a voice option on their satnav products.
As with most Facebook campaigns the page seems to have grown pretty organically, passing the 25,000 ‘likes’ that TomTom wanted before going ahead. Probably, like me, most people joined on the spur of the moment with a thought of ‘yeah, that would be pretty cool’ but then thought little more of it.
The guys behind the page (and I’m honoured to have worked with Nik Hewitt in the past and still get to geek out with him at Derby’s Social Media Cafe) kept things rolling, getting Brian involved in a promo video and pushing the message through Twitter as well as Facebook.
It’s a nice example, in the same vein as the Rage Against the Machine Xmas number 1, which shows how what would have once been a conversation between friends over a pint can now lead to social media and crowdsourcing disrupting or driving (see what I did there?) commercial direction.
Can I put a localgov spin on this? Well, the main question it raises for me is that people are willing to get behind campaigns online. There is little effort in showing support for something by liking or retweeting. How can this be captured or used in a democratic sense?
Could consultation be taken down this route? Or does most engagement need more than this passing click? How (or even is it possible) to convert people from clicking on ‘like’ to actually becoming citizen activists?
As usual more questions than answers but it’s something I know others are already working on and I’d love to explore further.
You can pick up the Brian Blessed TomTom voice for just under £8 (and who wouldn’t want the booming tone of Brian telling them to ‘turn right in 100 metres’? – great stocking filler for Xmas I’m sure). Or you can still check out the Facebook page and video.
You’re also welcome to come and join Nik and other Derby digital folk for a pre-Christmas tweet up on 26 November – details over at the social media cafe blog.