Home > blogging for Britain, marketing ramblings > Nigel Farage: marketing genius

Nigel Farage: marketing genius

The world probably doesn’t need another article about the rise of UKIP – certainly not from a London-centric liberal media scumbag – but I’m a lifelong contrarian so here’s one anyway.

Ignoring their policies for a moment (we’ll come to that later), from a marketing perspective UKIP’s ascent is fascinating. A single-issue party has, by deliberately and ruthlessly focussing on that single issue, managed to create the impression that it’s an unstoppable rising power in the land. The BBC, in particular, seems to have mistaken Nigel Farage for Nelson Mandela, giving him a prominence and platform that is surely disproportionate. After all, how many people can name the leader of the Green Party, who not only promise a straightforward in/out referendum on our membership of the EU but have the additional benefit of not being stuffed-full of bigots, racists and the terminally dim? (Nigel may not be any of these things but he’d admit that many in his party only bury their prejudices blackhead deep.)

Anyway, back to the marketing. Most marketeers will tell you that a good ad needs a USP. Too many advertisers forget that, and try to stuff a number of additional product benefits down the collective throat of a deeply ambivalent audience. And that’s where Farage deserves credit. Far from using his ubiquity as an excuse to unload a variety of other deranged (climate sceptic, misogynist…take your pick) guff on us, he’s repeated, ad nauseam, It’s all about Europe. Specifically, the immigration policies that being members of the EU commits us to. Indeed not only has Farage categorically refused to talk about other policies, he’s effectively said his party doesn’t have any. “We’ll sort that out later.”

He has remained committed to a USP, and he’s delivered that USP with conviction. That’s impeccable marketing.

While I managed to miss all other political advertising before this election (although I saw people on Twitter despairing of Labour’s efforts), I couldn’t miss UKIP’s posters. They were ugly, pretty offensive and everywhere; in the media if not on poster sites. Their message, and their targeting, was crystal clear. Again, job done.

And the results speak for themselves. By ensuring their simple message reached its target audience consistently and repetitively, UKIP have somehow managed to persuade our decent, tolerant nation to award them a significant percentage of the national vote.

What do I think? I think that if you’re going to vote on a single issue, and that issue isn’t the carbon-led immolation of the planet, you’re doing the equivalent of obsessing about the height of your neighbour’s leylandii while he’s upstairs bedding your wife. But what do I know? I’m just a smug, well-educated liberal, who’s feeling pretty embarrassed for our nation today.




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