2016 was shit. If you disagree with that statement then you probably won't like me/want to work with me.
The topsy-turvy political climate looked like it was some sort of big in-joke that we didn't know we were part of and didn't want to be. There weren't many clear truths to grasp at, as everything seemed so utterly unpredictable.
A few clear themes jumped out at me though. After reading Tim Shipman's excellent book on Brexit called 'All Out War' (it's great; it's like Gossip Girl meets Newsnight) - one of the main takeaways was the idea that the Stronger In campaign never manage to counteract the emotive statements that the Leave campaign were churning out. Ask anyone what the standout phrase was from the referendum was and chances are they'd say 'Take back control'.
Okay, so now it's more like 'Take back contrololololol' - but the point is that Stronger In just couldn't compete with that. The case for remain was based on facts, evidence and long-form content. They were running a different type of campaign that relied on people wanting to take the time to investigate their carefully crafted messages and data.
Large amounts of the UK weren't down for that. And that's not something that's exclusive to the referendum. We see it with sensationalist headlines that almost rely and exist purely in this reality that relies on people not delving any further and just taking one big, bright, black or white statement away with them.
Move across the pond (oh, do we really have to?!) and you can see the same in the recent election of You Know Who. The banner of 'Make America Great Again' hid a multitude of sins...and that doesn't even scrape the surface.
What I'm trying to say is if we can take anything positive from this clusterfuck is that emotive language and messaging is important and on-trend. Progressive political parties must up their game and counter intellectually baseless, empty phrases that trigger something emotional with their own - but what they'll have is a phrase that makes people feel something AND is also based in empirical evidence.
This doesn't just have to be in the form of a slogan. Recent studies have shown that people respond more positively to messages about immigration when they see qualitative sources like visuals and storytelling, instead of statistics. When you present ideas as abstract and wrapped in statistics, it maintains a distance and people can't access the multi-faceted nature of an argument. When you tell a story, people start to see an issue in a different way.
So, what's this got to do with copywriting and copy? Well, writing copy that makes people feel something and creating a brand story that connects with people is important. I've just decided to say it in a long-winded way, while I can bash Leave and You Know Who.
I'll write some emotive stuff for you; firstname.lastname@example.org