The Odd Shop and the Dutch government put a face on Brexit

You can’t open a newspaper, turn on a radio or watch the news without hearing about Brexit. A deal will have to be reached at the end of March, but the probability that the United Kingdom will leave the European Union without a deal increases every day.

Brexit will have consequences for almost everyone, but entrepreneurs in particular will be the first to be affected by it, and it’s high time they prepare for what’s coming. That’s why Amsterdam creative agency, The Odd Shop and the Dutch government launched a campaign with a call to take action.

Don’t let Brexit get in your way

This campaign is necessary because research shows that 75% of Dutch entrepreneurs are not yet prepared for the departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Many of them underestimate Brexit’s consequences and assume that their businesses won’t be affected.

But Brexit can get in the way of many businesses, in more ways and sooner than people expect. To get this point across, The Odd Shop decided to give Brexit a face. The big, blue Brexit character literally gets in the way of entrepreneurs’ day-to-day business. Thus, providing very direct and practical consequences to Dutch entrepreneurs. For example, products may stay at customs longer, British certificates and licenses may no longer be valid, and data traffic may have to deal with a new digital border.

One tweet to start the campaign

The campaign was launched with one tweet by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs, Stef Blok. In the blink of an eye our big clumsy friend gave the word viral a whole new dimension. He was everywhere! Every big national and international news outlet talked about Brexit and pointed out that he was introduced to warn entrepreneurs for the impact he could have on their business. Even a meme was born.

Enola van Maarseveen (behavioral scientist from The Odd Shop):

“There is a strong ‘optimism bias’ among entrepreneurs. They underestimate the effects of Brexit and assume it will not affect them. This can be counteracted by communicating the consequences as concretely and personally as possible. The Brexit character gives us the opportunity to make the problems visible and relative to the daily practices of entrepreneurs. Giving Brexit a face also makes the message more memorable. If the association is made, the target group only needs to see the character to be reminded of Brexit.

In addition, there is a strong social standard here for entrepreneurs. They look around and wait for others to take action. To reverse this norm, we used industry-specific testimonials within the campaign to show how related companies are preparing themselves.”

The Brexit Impact Scan

To see how Brexit could get in the way of their business, entrepreneurs can visit to do the Brexit Impact Scan. Using this online business scan, they can easily check to see if Brexit is going to affect their business and what they need to do to prepare for this.

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