What is going to British branding seem like after Brexit?
After the 2016 Brexit referendum, there was a significant increase in branding targeting the UK. In 2018, Tesco launched its 'UK-first' budget supermarket Jack & # 39; s proudly decked out in red, white and blue and studded with Union Jacks.
In 2019, Vauxhall's campaign in the UK paid tribute to the great British van driver (who also admitted that 1,000 jobs in the UK were at risk at the UK assembly plant in Cheshire if there was no Brexit). The brand says the film took inspiration from the Rudyard Kipling poem If and Churchill's The Few speech, although the ad has now been strangely deleted from YouTube. That same year, HSBC insisted that the UK is not an island and the streaming service Britbox was launched in the UK.
The obsession with Britishism continued in 2020 when Waitrose invited us all to “Pick for Britain,” and Lloyds unveiled its bucolic Forever Forwards campaign with images of steam trains, fishermen and lush, emerald fields. To put the cherry on the cake, it was recently revealed that Downing Street had attempted to put the Union Jack on Oxford University / AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine injection kits.
Meanwhile, other cultural workers have highlighted the charged status of the Union Jack, perhaps most memorable of all is Stormzy – who wore a stitch vest adorned with a monochrome version of the Banksy-designed flag for his 2019 Glastonbury performance. His message was far from the perception of the flag in 1997, when Geri Haliwell wore her now iconic Union Jack dress on stage at the Brit Awards.
There is no question that the traditional British visuals are highly charged after Brexit. And the debate about what national identity means rages on, as we saw in the backlash to the Sainsbury's Christmas campaign, which drew racist reactions from some to portrayals of a black family. Is nationality a dubious issue for brands? According to Dylan Williams, Droga5's chief strategy officer, it's cloudy water to wade in.