People ask me about the thinking behind the “Britastrophe” stickers from EU Flag Mafia. I took some time to design the slogan way back in March and a quick look behind the scenes reveals the thinking:
Brexit is a long term disaster in slow motion. Because of the long term nature of Brexit and the slow motion aspect, people have tended to discount the impacts or deny them as project fear. Following 1000’s of hours of on the street conversations with Brexiteers, I find that the vast majority of these people are not long range planners or strategic thinkers. They think in the here and now and tend to believe that you cannot plan for the future. Que sera sera is their modus operandi for long range planning.
However, Corona is very much in the here and now. Brexiteers recognise the impacts as they are very much within their “lived experience”. As I pointed out some 5 months ago, Corona has given us the one thing that Brexit never could. A realistic preview of Brexit, where toilet roll is currency, chicken drumsticks are traded in dark alleyways and Pampers are on their third use.
People tend to compartmentalise issues and we needed to make the connection between Corona and Brexit. In doing so we brought the short and long term together in a potent mixture. We initially tested this out on the street with my bicycle hoarding and then with the stickers.
In terms of sequencing the strapline, a catastrophe is bigger than a crisis or a disaster, hence the catchphrase Corona Crisis + Brexit Disaster = Britastrophe. Note the order and sequence and the use of the word Britain within the phrase. All the above must be done within as few words as possible for busy people, five in this case or three for the short form version. “Britastrophe” also sounds like the kind of word that Boris Johnson would use, hence my choice of a unique word to describe the combined effect.
I am deeply aware that people do not analyse stickers for any length of time but it’s important that we get our message across concisely and clearly.