It's finally here. June 23. EU Referendum day. A day that will live in infamy whatever the outcome. The last few months have seen a dramatic escalation in propaganda from both sides. So much so that's it's genuinely difficult to know who to believe. If the mainstream media is to be believe, essentially, you're either with David Cameron or Boris Johnson. That's like choosing between a swift kick to the nuts and a sucker punch to the chops. In truth, the issue is far more complex, and the best creative work that's arrived as a a result of the Brexit debate (from both sides, though admittedly mainly from the less incendiary Remain side) understands this. Enter Rufus Leonard, who have joined the referendum debate at the very last minute by launching a film that makes an unashamedly positive, emotional case for staying in the European Union.
“We want to convince the people of Britain to remain in Europe”
The film offers an inspiring vision of the EU as a strong, united, forward-looking collection of member states with a common culture, attitude and spirit. The film is based on Loughborough University research, which shows that, taking circulation figures into account, the leave campaign has dominated 82% of newspaper commentary. Rufus Leonard’s film combines shots of familiar European landmarks, including the Louvre and Tower Bridge, with pictures of European citizens dancing, demonstrating, making music, and working everywhere from heavy industry to hospitals. The message reads: “In Europe, we share a common inheritance. We’re united with no limit to our happiness, our prosperity and our pride. To keep this dream alive there must be an act of faith… We must act consciously. We will make it happen. Your time is now. Thursday 23rd. Are you in?”
We'd like to stay: EU Referendum 2016
Laurence Parkes, Chief Strategy Officer at Rufus Leonard, said, “We want to convince the people of Britain to remain in Europe. It concerned us deeply that the Brexit campaign seemed to be winning the debate. We wanted to do something to compete with media dominance of the pro-leave agenda. When we spoke to the under 35s in the agency, it was clear that the negative, rational tone of the Remain campaign was not resonating with them. At the same time, a poll by Opinium revealed that if just 10% more under 35s go out to vote, it could swing the result in favour of Remain. So we decided to use our skills to create an inspiring brand vision for the EU, concentrating on the positive reasons for our continuing union.”
“We decided to use our skills to create an inspiring brand vision for the EU”
The emotional film was put together only after the agency had undertaken some rational research. As the directors of the business, the agency looked at all the evidence they could find and decided that it would be in their best interest and ours to stay in the EU. Their primary reasoning is that most economic studies predict a negative effect on economic growth and UK public finances. This will reduce clients’ spending and have a knock-on effect for agency revenues. The agency believes that genetically, politically, philosophically and linguistically the UK shares a great deal with its fellow EU member states. The institution may not be perfect, but it is well-placed to help us better face the challenges of the environment, poverty and peace, and was founded on sound principles of respect, tolerance, justice, solidarity and equality.
Best of the EU Referendum
Before we close the door on the EU Referendum for good (and about bloody time), below we've collected a few of our favourite pieces of creative from the Remain campaign and its supporters. It's not all clever and it's not all particularly inventive, but it should all at least act as a pretty accurate representation of a very unique and interesting time in British history.