I'm one of the most non-political animals I know, so when I write about the Scottish Independence Referendum (that happened on September 18th 2014) there has to be a blogging / marketing connection, tenuous as it is!
If you're one of my UK readers you almost certainly can't have failed to notice the Scottish Independence campaign that declared its result this morning.
For non-UK readers, in a nutshell (and I DO apologize to serious readers here) Scotland wanted to become an independent country rather than remain part of the United Kingdom.
Yes Or No?
Being British, rather than Scottish, I had no vote in the matter and along with most people I spoke to, I vaguely imagined that there would be a “Yes” vote – that's to say, a vote in favor of Scottish independence by the Scottish voters, the only ones with a vote.
I presumed this because the only people with whom I had discussed the matter were Scottish people who were very passionately in favor of their Independence, and I assumed their passion and fervor would carry the day. This is no comment at all about the validity of their case as they have some real grievances that should be addressed.
That said, I'll admit freely that I have always have been in favor of staying a United Kingdom, but my reasons were largely sentimental – nostalgia for happy holidays, beautiful scenery, bagpipe music, haggis, (yes – really), whiskey, salmon etc – and with no logical foundation. (OK – a tinge of greed for their oil!)
Had I been offered a vote on the subject I would certainly have taken the trouble to learn more – but it was just another of those political decisions that would be foisted onto me from “on high” whether I agreed or not.
To present a non-biased blog post, here's the Independent Scotland website!
Given that I imagined my spending power would be as welcome in Scotland after either a Yes or a No vote, I just watched the debate with interest from the side-lines, wondering how all the myriad practical problems would be handled in the months to come.
For instance, on my next P&O Cruise Sail-away party, would we still be waving Union Jacks – or had P&O been quietly running down their stocks….? You get all the serious questions here!
Wake Up England!
Suddenly, about a week ago, it was almost as if everyone in the UK (who has any clout) woke up and realized the enormity of what could be about to happen.
I started receiving impassioned emails bemoaning the threatened split, Scottish music pod-casts, and invitations to rallies and marches. As if by magic, south of the border we all really LOVED Scotland and were begging “Don't leave us!”
I “Tweeted” with the rest of them. Finally someone cared what I thought….
Then the “smear and fear” mongering started, with several high profile companies currently based in Scotland leaking the news that they had contingency plans to move out of Scotland in the event of an Independent Scotland.
Not on My Watch!
The Queen was pictured glum-faced in the new-papers, and for once the leaders of our main political parties saw (more or less) eye-to-eye. They could NOT preside over the break-up of the United Kingdom. It would NOT sit well on the CV!
Scottish Independence Referendum Results Statistics
The “just in time” passion and emotion of the marketing campaign fueled an unprecedented 84% turnout – the highest in any election campaign since 1951. Almost 45% voted for Scottish Independence, 55% against.
In the end, the campaign was a close call and the United Kingdom had been snatched from the jaws of its death. It was so close run that when I woke up and heard the results coming in this morning I thought the Independence voters had won and I was sad for what England would have lost.
Then as I “came to” fully I realized we were still United; and I was glad – yet sad for my Scottish friends who believed so fervently in their cause. I hope they will see the fulfillment of the last ditch promises that have been made, and that we truly can be “Better Together”.
Passion and Fear, Marketing and Blogging
Like any good marketing campaign I believe the Scottish Referendum decision was made on emotion – Fear (of loss) and / or “Love” – real or imaginary. When it's crunch time, logic goes out of the window.
And that – dear reader – is how YOUR marketing campaigns will be won or lost. On emotion. Not logic.
As bloggers we too are “Better Together”, so I'd welcome your comments. (Who wants to blog into a void?)
If you're outside the UK did you even NOTICE all this fervor and passion South and North of the England / Scotland border?
When making purchasing decisions, are YOU most swayed by emotion or logic?