I was meandering my way through my LinkedIn newsfeed last week, wistfully hoping for something of value (negative) when this ad caught my eye…


In case you missed it last week (!), Nicola Sturgeon declared that her and her pals were going to push for a second Scottish Independence Referendum. This ad had a clear message for Nic and said pals. I don’t think they want a referendum(b). I’m not commenting on either side of the indyref argument here, however, I do want to break down why this ad can be classed as a fail.

The medium

LinkedIn is a ‘professional’ social network. At times, I doubt that, however, it’s just not the place to be shoving this type of message down people’s throats. The comments (which I failed to grab a screenshot of) backed up this opinion. Scotland in Union would’ve been far wiser writing a well-thought-out article as to why a second referendum may not be a great idea, in a business context and pushing that across the platform. This is the type of ad delivery we would expect to see on Facebook.

The message

Using words like ‘stupid’ and ‘dumb’ are lets face it, just a little childish. Resorting to language like this is rarely effective, especially in the political arena.

It includes two hashtags, a little used feature on LinkedIn. Asking people to ‘like and share’ is a crappy tactic regardless of the social platform (Facebook will slap your reach in the face just for asking), however, asking for it to be spread to ‘friends and family’ within the context of LinkedIn is just stupid. I mean dumb. I mean far from sensible.

Saving graces

There’s a wee dose of benefit of the doubt to be passed out here. Whoever devised this campaign has most likely made one creative and applied it to various mediums. That’s lazy and shows a distinct lack of understanding, yet I’m going to let them off a little, as I’d suspect that whoever was tasked with this work isn’t particularly well-versed in this area.

It may also be the case that the ad was pumped into a system such as AdRoll that serves ads across various platforms, again a bit daft as regardless of the tech, you need to have medium-suitable creative.

The image part of the ad is actually ok, quite nice on the eye. No, not Nicola. Nothing against her, she’s just not my cup of Scottish Blend.

Oh, and one more thing. The ad got people talking about it. Albeit in a largely negative fashion. Perhaps that was the plan all along. Me thinks not.

I took a tongue-in-cheek look at the social media reaction to the indyref2 announcement here.


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