As the U.K. counts down to the May 6 general election, a tight three-way race, an ad campaign from The Independent is tapping into the political anxieties of its target readers and attempting to inspire them. “A few people count way too much,” an election-themed video warns, listing Rupert Murdoch (who will “throw the weight of the country’s two biggest newspapers behind one party”) and the millions spent by the Tory-supporting Lord Ashcroft and by unions.
The point is not only that The Independent will provide the facts—“Truth matters” is the campaign’s tagline—but that the facts will empower voters (“People should not fear their government. Government should fear you”). Outdoor ads distill the message—says one: “Rupert Murdoch won’t decide this election. You will.” The campaign, which coincides with a major redesign of the newspaper and the arrival of a new owner, seems like a smart way to connect with readers at a tense time.
Meanwhile, IKEA is tackling election anxiety with levity on its U.K. site, presenting “kitchen designs inspired by our would-be PMs.” Each candidate gets a suitably Swedish name—for example, Brown becomes Brün; his kitchen is “durable and prudent for the economically conscious.” The idea reminds us of 7-Eleven’s recent whimsical elections-themed promotion in the Philippines.