Jonathan "Jon" Morter (born in Chelmsford, Essex, England, is an English rock DJ (since 1994) and social media campaigner whose hometown is South Woodham Ferrers, Essex). He is best known as an award-winning social media pioneer, for launching, with his ex wife Tracy, various internet campaigns specially during Christmas season, in order to stop, most notably, The X Factor hits from becoming almost automatic Christmas number ones on the UK Singles Chart through organizing of grassroots campaigns to garner support for rival hits to overtake The X Factor winning song. The Morters have supported alternative singles by Rick Astley (2008), Rage Against the Machine (2009), Nirvana (2011), and The Justice Collective (2012). Jon Morter was also involved in campaigns to save BBC 6 Music and helped in The Rolling Stones get a number one on the albums chart with a 2010 rerelease. Jon Morter co-runs with Jamie Turner the social media company Big Other, and has launched the Condescending Corporate Brand Page, a sarcastic page of a fictitious corporation to lampoon actual corporate techniques in social media sites.
- 1 Campaigns
- 2 Awards and nominations
- 3 References
- 4 External links
Rick Astley vs Alexandra Burke (2008)
In 2008, Jon Morter launched a campaign trying to make Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up reach the top of the British Christmas chart. Also known as the "Ultimate Rickroll" (in reference to what is known as Rickrolling), the campaign was started on 1 December 2008, by Jon Morter on Facebook in an attempt to make the song the 2008 Christmas number one in the UK. The campaign's purpose was to stop The X-Factor from gaining the #1 Christmas spot, thereby ending the show's chain of success. The year's X Factor winner at the time was Alexandra Burke with her winning song being a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah".
The group attracted nearly 30,000 people in its first week active. Campaigners were encouraged to get as many people as possible to download the song from iTunes between 15 and 20 December 2008. The song only managed to peak at #73; however, this was later found to be a deliberate lowering of the song's place (having reached #3 a week before it came to its finish) due to the company's belief that "the songs [sic] ranking was ridiculous and rigging a contest was unfair on other artists".
Rage Against the Machine vs Joe McElderry (2009)
The campaigners, Jon and Tracy Morter, were ultimately far more successful the following year. In 2009, The Morters tried on a bigger scale. Jon Morter said to London Metro he learned how the system worked through Rick Astley's bid. He said: "What I learned from that was how the charts work a little bit really, and what you can get away with. So when this year came around I just thought 'let's have another go'. If anything, last year was fun, it was just a good bit of fun I think. This year it has gone stratospheric". He also declared: "It's a great British tradition that had died. I felt I had to do something about it". He was talking about his joint effort with his wife Tracy in launching of the couple's hugely successful campaign proposing to oppose that year's winner Joe McElderry from becoming the #1 with his cover of the song "The Climb". They proposed instead Rage Against the Machine song "Killing in the Name" by establishing a Facebook account named "Rage Against the Machine for Christmas No 1". A huge number of sympathisers subscribed to the group with reported members nearing one million individuals vowing to support the campaign. The campaign met with furious reaction from The X Factor founder Simon Cowell who branded the campaign's supporters a "hate-mob" and likened the crusade to bullying. McElderry's mentor Cheryl Cole called the initiative "mean". The grassroots movement was successful in prohibiting McElderry attaining the top spot on Christmas week as Rage Against the Machine outsold McElderry, itself becoming the "protest" UK Christmas number one. Despite this, McElderry did attain the top spot but for the New Year's chart one week later. But the string of X Factor hits on Christmas charts was broken. The successful Rage Against the Machine campaign also raised over £163,000 to the homeless charity Shelter.
Other campaigns (2010)
In January 2010, Jon Morter, after hearing about news that the demise of the music station BBC 6 Music was near, and that the station was being scrapped by BBC management, successfully campaigned against its imminent closure by kickstarting the 'Save 6 Music' Facebook group networking with over 180,000 members subscribing. The plan to close the radio station was halted.
In May 2010, he contributed to the success of the re-issue of The Rolling Stones 1972 album Exile on Main St. collecting more than a million members and on 23 May 2010 'Exile' went straight to the top of the UK Albums Chart.
Nirvana vs Little Mix vs Alex Day vs Military Wives vs Lou Monte (2011)
In 2011, Jon Morter helped the campaign against X Factor winners Little Mix and their cover of "Cannonball" from becoming Christmas #1 by supporting Nirvana's song "Smells Like Teen Spirit". The Nirvana song made it to #11 in the 2011 UK Christmas Singles Chart. However, Little Mix were beaten by another song, "Wherever You Are" by the Military Wives, though Little Mix's single was released a week earlier than usual and had in fact already been number one the week before. Nirvana was also beaten by 2 rival campaigns; "Dominick the Donkey", a 1960 novelty single by Lou Monte which was championed by BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Moyles, and "Forever Yours" by unsigned YouTube artist Alex Day.
The Justice Collective (2012)
In October 2012, Jon was invited by Peter Hooton of The Farm to join The Justice Collective, a fund-raising record raising money for the various charities associated with the Hillsborough disaster. The song went on to take the coveted Christmas number 1 position for 2012 in the UK., beating 2012 X Factor winner James Arthur, who was number one the previous week, and a host of novelty songs from acts including the £1 Fish Man, and the Eddie Stobart Truckers.
AC/DC – "Highway to Hell" campaign (2013)
Jon Morter has lent his support to a campaign organised by a rock fan called Steevi Diamond (who previously succeeded in getting The Trashmen's "Surfin' Bird" to number 3 in the UK Charts), hoping to aid "Highway to Hell" from AC/DC to reach number 1 on Christmas 2013 on the UK Singles Chart, as a fitting tribute to the band's 40th anniversary, as the band has never ever topped the British chart. The single made it to number 4 on the UK Christmas chart, but could not prevent The X Factor-related single "Skyscraper" by tenth season winner Sam Bailey from making it to number 1. Funds received on sale of the AC/DC single and from donations from an already established Facebook account went for the charity Feel Yourself, to raise awareness about the importance of self-checking for breast and testicular cancer.
Awards and nominations
In 2010, Jon Morter won the "Defender of the Faith Award" at the 2010 Metal Hammer Golden Gods. He also won 3 Mobile Awards including Social Media High of the Year event.
In 2010, he was also nominated for the 2010 Revolution "Marketer of the Year" award.
He was nominated twice for the 2010 Justgiving Awards for his contributions in charities. He was also nominated for "Marketer of the Year" Revolution Awards.
- GodIsInTheNet zine: Interview by Sean Bw Parker with Jon Morter
- The Big Other Facebook page
- Metro: Rage Facebook couple celebrate 'stratospheric' chart campaign
- The Sun: OutRage - The man behind Xmas No 1 furore
- NME: Rage Against The Machine Vs 'X Factor' campaign founder: 'Fuck me I can't believe it's Number One'
- BBC Interview with Jon Morter
- Radio Times: The X Factor, Nirvana or TOWIE? Jon Morter on the 2011 Christmas number one race
- Sky News: Christmas No 1 - Can Nirvana Topple X Factor?
- "Essex couple back Hillsborough Justice Collective against Cowell". This Is Total Essex. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 21 December 2012.
- "Hillsborough charity single featuring Paul McCartney and Robbie Williams is tipped for Christmas No 1". Daily Telegraph UK. 23 November 2012. Retrieved 23 November2012.
- The Official Charts: The Official 2013 Christmas Number 1 contenders revealed!
- BBC: Faces of the year (2009)
- LiverpoolSoundCity: Sound City - Jon Morter announced as a speaker
- BrandRepublic: Revolution Awards 2010
- Wired: The Wired 100: Positions 51 to 100 (April 2010)