This week I felt more proud to be a Rover than I have for quite a while. Blackburn Rovers released a video on YouTube to promote their new kit, that as well as showing that they are comprehending the modern media landscape produced a film that is brimming with wonderful self deprecating NE Lancashire humor. Its intelligently produced thriftily and celebrates a “local” and a local lifelong Rovers fan. It out Peter Kayes, Peter Kay.
The #BIRDYSDATE video is joyous, intelligent and a stroke of marketing genius. I’m proud that Rovers have adopted this light-hearted approach rather than the elitist and corporate attitude churned out by most high profile football clubs and their sponsors. The film went viral. 190,000 people viewed the video in less than 48 hours, a brilliant result and there is real potential value to be gleaned from this level of coverage. As is often the case, some people don’t get subtle humor and some just like to be negative, but its worrying that so many adults viewed the film as serious, rather than the spoof and comic gold that it certainly is. Anyone who views it as something else is daft. I can’t believe some of the comments online condemning this as an embarrassment for the club and I can’t believe how The Metro can employ such a thick journalist who wrote negatively about the film (obviously the Metro readers are not as stupid as the journalist as they rode to Rovers defense).
It could be a TV comedy show sketch, but the fact it’s a low budget, in-house production, using a season ticket holder as the star makes it all the more clever and humorous. This should be celebrated. Well done Rovers.
But then, my beloved Rovers you caved in, you took the video down and cowed down to to those who don’t get our humor and who don’t realise the value of intelligent, witty viral videos. Your brief foray into the modern world lasted 48 hours, you have, just temporarily I hope, lost your bottle. Just imagine if Channel 4 had pandered to all those southern critics who decried Peter Kay in his early days.
By Wayne Hemingway