LONDON: As the dust settles on the 2017 general election, brands can learn something from the advertising strategies deployed by the UK's political parties, an industry figure has suggested.
There have been far fewer attention-grabbing public ads in this campaign than in previous ones, as parties have opted instead to focus on the private sphere, targeting voters in marginal constituencies with personalised messages via social media.
One consequence of this, argued Claire Beale, editor-in-chief of Campaign, is that there has been "a large-scale lack of clarity over each party's main policies".
In fact, research for Campaign, based on a representative poll of 1,015 voters, found that 85% couldn't remember any political advertising from the current campaign.
And despite parties' efforts being concentrated on social media, 86% of respondents said they were less likely to believe political advertising on these platforms.
Allied to that is the issue of fake news: separate research commissioned by the7stars media agency reported that more than half of voters have found it difficult to tell the difference between real and fake news during this election campaign, with 70% believing it is the responsibility of social media platforms to tackle the problem.
The three main parties this week also found themselves exposed to the same dangers as brands when they had to pull their YouTube advertising after The Times revealed that their election ads had been placed next to videos of Islamic extremists,.
And while political parties can learn from brands' mistakes, the reverse is equally the case.
"Tactical, segmented, digitally delivered campaigns on social platforms can work on undecided voters in a speedy election," said Beale.
"But it seems they're failing to deliver brand-building messages that can unite the individual threads of conversation and corral any real consensus of thought. Brands take note."
Data sourced from Campaign, The Times, Huffington Post; additional content by WARC staff