Hindsight may be 20-20, but pro-Remain strategists in the UK are wondering if previously unreleased ads could have drastically altered the results of the June 23 “Brexit” vote.
The collection of ads was commissioned by Britain Stronger in Europe, a pro-Remain advocacy group, from agencies such as Saatchi & Saatchi and M&C Saatchi. Unseen until after the vote, these ads beg the question of whether or not a stronger campaign vision from the Remain side could have swayed voters as they went to the polls to decide on the referendum. It is unclear why the ad proposals were rejected prior to the vote.
Unlike the U.K. Independence Party’s controversial “Breaking Point” ad or Britain Stronger in Europe’s “Presenting Nigel Farage… Spokesman for the Leave Campaign,” these ads were never fully intended for public consumption.
Moray MacLennan, M&C Saatchi’s worldwide chief executive, was quoted in a July 1 Campaign story as saying, “We never normally release work that we produced on behalf of a client but that hasn’t run. But this time is different. We are still emotionally engaged, the issue is – and will remain – of vital importance and it might help to air some of these ideas.”
The diverse portfolio of ads aimed to spotlight the dangers of leaving the European Union. With taglines such as “Once out, the pin can’t be put back in” and “Do you want to be left alone on a small island with these men?” (written above photos of the leaders of the Brexit movement), the potential impact of these ads will never quite be determined.
Perhaps the most arresting of the bunch is an image of a pregnant woman with a speech bubble saying, “I’m in” seemingly coming from her stomach. The ad capitalizes on widespread millennial anti-Brexit sentiment with text stating, “73% of 18-29 year olds back staying in.”
Take a look at the ads and decide for yourself — could they have changed the outcome of the vote, or is this merely a case of Monday morning quarterbacking?