If, like me, you have spent at least 1.5 minutes at your computer in the last week, you are doubtless familiar with Susan Boyle (pictured), who is kicking all kinds of bum in "Britain's Got Talent," the ur-"American Idol" show where Simon Cowell worked his way into the homes and brains of the worldwide viewing public.
This woman is taking the world by the proverbial storm. She is unstoppable. She is the classic underdog who makes everyone believe in hope.
In USA Today, the quote of the day is...
"Susan Boyle is a Disney movie waiting to happen," says church worker Janelle Gregory, 34, of Olathe, Kan.
This could be true. It could also be, kind of, false. A product from the mind of Simon Cowell, who gave us the ultra-engineered, though still lovable, Spice Girls, Ms. Boyle's underdog-cum-victor could be a fabrication, and this video, which is on YouTube's most watched for the week, has been the means of selling that fabrication to the world.
(Sorry I can't embed the video into the blog post; they disabled it for some reason. Hrm. Makes the construction of this homely Scottish siren look even more suspicious, frankly.)
There's a fantastic op-ed about this phenom in today's NY Post. My favorite quote from it is:
"There is the classic David vs. Goliath subplot, the primal satisfaction of seeing the bully (Cowell) slain by such a seemingly inferior force. And there is the profound desire for this entire thing to be authentic, which in and of itself suggests that it probably isn't."
Whilst I've been on the job search in this post-Bush Administration world of mine, every interview has involved talking about "new media" (re: Internet) communication. The wonder of YouTube, Facebook, and everything else that would have been labeled "Web 2.0" two years ago (before the term became moot) is that we can have this powerful medium for eliminating the middle man and connecting people authentically and sincerely with one another.
The challenge to marketers is finding out how to dupe the American consumer, so oversaturated with advertising that he/she has become virtually immune to it, into believing something is sincere which is, technically, a bit made up.
This Susan Boyle mini-meme seems to fit into that category. But who cares? As Jimmy James would say, she makes good Internet.