Vote Leave: Take control
As much as it may pain some to admit, the Vote Leave campaign was one of the most effective of the year, resulting in the UK voting for Brexit by a margin of almost 52% to 48%. And it did that despite the Remain campaign being odds-on favourite to win at the start and having the backing of the then Prime Minister David Cameron, most MPs and a range of global leaders including US President Barack Obama.
What Vote Leave did so well was tap into a growing concern among many in the UK around immigration, push ideals around sovereignty and promise money to the national treasure that is the National Health Service. Campaign claims included a list of murders and rapes committed by 50 criminals of EU nationalities in Britain, numerous messages about ‘taking back control’ and the promise of an extra £350m a week for the NHS.
As Marketing Week columnist Mark Ritson predicted, the “whole decision, arguably the most important one in recent British history, will come down to the benefit ladder and who can play the emotional advantages better than the other”.
And he was right. The Brexit campaign boiled down to the marketing holy grail of identifying your audience, understanding how to engage with those segments and hitting them with exactly what they want to hear.
Although the campaign was a success the repercussions for marketers aren’t as clear cut, as it’s set to be a rollercoaster for marketing budgets, mixed with general uncertainty and the start of a pricing headache for marketers, thanks to a weak pound, heralded by Unilever kicking off price increases on its products.