Friday, 24 July 2009

YouTube as a consumer advocacy tool

David Carroll, the lead singer with Canadian band Sons of Maxwell, has used humour and the Internet to get back at United Airlines for breaking the band's guitars.

In the face of denials and disinterest from United, the band created a music video called “United Broke My Guitar” which they then posted on YouTube on July 6, 2009. As of 24 July the video has been viewed 3,719,721 times. As a result United has woken up to the fact that their reputation has compromised and it has forced the airline to finally compensate the band.

While David Carroll is not the first person to use the Internet, or indeed YouTube, for revenge, he has been highly effective. Does this underline the power of the Internet as an agent of change? Well, the technology enabled the message to be delivered far and wide, but it was the creative humour of the video that made the message appealing and started a viral marketing process. I guess this is a reminder to any organisation - be wary of delivering bad service to creative types who are technically savvy, they can fight back.

What we now need is someone to create a music video on Youtube targeting Lyn Kosky and drawing attention to her shocking incompetence as Victorian transport minister (and before that education minister - remember the RMIT financial fiasco) and the resulting crappy service delivered by Melbourne trains and trams.

To find out more about the United Airline versus the Sons of Maxwell saga check out David Carroll's MySpace profile.

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