Tom Spencer 28 April 2016

Today marks one of the most notable dates in the social media calendar; Ed Balls Day.

The Labour politician became a global phenomenon five years ago when he issued a tweet which simply read “Ed Balls”. Unaware that he could delete the post, this blunder found instant fame, garnering in excess of 64,000 retweets and 34,000 likes – a record for a British politician at the time, and a level of engagement still to be reckoned with to this day.

The anniversary of this social media fail has become as much a fixture in the social media calendar as Black Friday or the Super Bowl, and had generated 6,000 posts by 9am this morning. A myriad of brands have already jumped on the #EdBallsDay bandwagon, from Rugby ball manufacturers to nationwide pizza makers, as they look to capitalise on the popularity of this topic.

The lesson of #EdBallsDay? Brands and the individuals who represent them must be prepared and trained appropriately to support effective public relations. While the multitude of GIFs is undoubtedly humorous, the original tweet has left a lasting mark on Ed Ball’s career and the public image of the Labour party.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Happy #EdBallsDay