What Are Your Ideas For An Iconic Campaign to Invigorate the UK?

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Ben Brabyn
Ecosystem Specialist and Former Head of Level39

In 1986, the brilliantly simple, viral and inclusive “Tell Sid”campaign prompted 1.5 million people to buy shares in British Gas. It helped define an era of ownership and agency. Our new PM asks you for advice:

We need a new, iconic campaign to invigorate the UK – what do you recommend?

VocL Voices’ Responses

Will Lankston
Managing Director of B2B at the Timpson Group

I would remain focused on energy, but our needs have evolved since the “tell Sid” campaign. My recommendation would be for a ‘Sizewell Sam’ campaign. This campaign would see the government educate the public about the benefits of nuclear, commit to further nuclear reactors than were promised in the energy security strategy, and give the public the opportunity to invest in these nuclear projects. The opportunity of ownership, coupled with a vast number of highly skilled, highly paid jobs being created is pretty compelling to me! 

Dara Latinwo
Transformation Consulting Manager at the global firm Deloitte

We live in an age where the clamour for rights is rarely balanced by a recognition of the accompanying societal responsibilities. So, a campaign called ‘Take part’ which sets out a more engaged and transparent form of democracy, similar to what Taiwan has pioneered, could focus on driving up more civic involvement among the population and reinforcing that everyone should benefit from the economic growth that ensues. In this way, the campaign title works on two different levels: 1) take part = involvement and 2) take part = receiving a fair share of wealth created.

Ross O’Brien 
Chief of Staff at BP 

“Tell Sid” resonated strongly in the ‘80s because it allowed the public to be involved – to be owners – and to hope for the future. Forty years on, I think we need a bold new mission. One where everyone feels they can contribute. Like when JFK announced, “we’re going to the moon” or when South Africa won the Rugby World Cup in 1995. In both, only a handful of people were directly involved, but whole nations were behind them. I’d like to see the UK embrace this and enable the public to crowdfund mega-infrastructure projects to generate affordable clean energy and a real return for everyone involved.

Danielle Crompton
Ethics & Sustainability / John Lewis Partnership

We need a campaign to promote openness, transparency and build trust with the government. Two-way communication is vital. So maybe something like #AskmyMP or #speakuptobuildup to drive engagement at a local level and encourage constituents to have more conversations with their MPs. 

Rebecca Harlow
Net Zero Proposition Lead/ Arcadis

When deciding what would make a good campaign, the fundamental question to answer is what outcome is sought? With a myriad of problems facing our country, ability to deliver wide ranging socio-economic benefit is vital. Championing creativity. As seen with the Commonwealth Games, championing what makes us different and diversity of thought strikes a cord with our Country. Using the energy to creatively solve problems, move away from the norm and unlocking productivity and innovation will dissolve barriers traditionally and consistently faced, creating positive and impactful change. 

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