Mostly when I visit London, it’s all work-related. However, over the past week and more, I had the opportunity for a much more relaxed trip – shows, galleries, Wimbledon, etc. All very enjoyable.
I also had the chance to catch up with London friends who are collectively in a state of post-Brexit shock and are now soul-searching as to what went so horrible wrong for the Remain camp.
I offered my humble – and predictable – opinion: it was the Copywriting that let then down.
Well, the copywriting AND the fact that there seemed to be no obvious marketing strategy behind the Remain campaign.
Our bananas are crooked
Right from the start (and aside from the fact that the Leave campaign were able to massively stoke fears about immigration), the Leave line – “Take Back Control” – summed up everything the populist right wing English media had been saying for decades about Europe. And that goes right back to the days of ‘Europe says our bananas are too crooked’. Ludicrous, yes, but brilliantly effective too.
So, “Take Back Control” was a great line to whip up the voters into a leaving frenzy. Top marks to that copywriter!
Lukewarm, limp and lazy
On the other side of the debate, the Remain camp were never going to be able to engender any comparable level of passion with their line – “Stronger In”. It was far too safe, far too sensible, far too insipid.
So what could the Remain camp have done with their copywriting?
More ballsy, please
For a start, they could have ditched their lacklustre and timidly positive line and gone for something a bit more ballsy, a bit more … negative.
Yes, negative. Because as American politics generally shows us time and time again, when it really matters it pays to get really negative. (OK, Obama 2008 excepted; but that was a bit different. Yet in 2012 Obama actually churned out a lot more negative ads than his Republican rival. And, guess what, he won!)
Go for the jugular
In retrospect then, it might have been better for the Remain camp to have gone for the jugular with a line like "Don’t get Tricked into Leaving”. (Or something similar – I admit I haven’t spent any time working on this!)
That type of negativity might actually have been the most positive thing they could have done.
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