NEWS28 April 2015

Labour loses on ‘leadership’ association with party political broadcast

News UK

UK — Labour’s election broadcast starring actor Martin Freeman, but omitting Ed Miliband, weakened its association with ‘leadership’, according to a neuroscience study from Neuro-Insight.


The Neuro-Insight study into the neurological impact of two party political broadcasts made by Labour and the Conservatives used its brain-imaging technology to measure people’s subconscious reactions to the ads on a second-by-second basis.

The study was combined with an exercise that tracked subconscious associations with each party’s logos and was carried out before and after the films were viewed, to measure their impact.

People who watched the Labour ad recorded less association with ‘leadership’ after viewing the ad than they had done before. However Labour’s Martin Freeman ad was better liked than the Conservative ad and created stronger positive sentiment for the Labour brand.

David Cameron starred in the Conservative broadcast – which showed a series of different UK families talking about their hopes for their children, ending with Cameron talking about his hopes for his kids/all kids. The Neuro-Insight study suggested that while the final clip of family man Cameron worked well for the Conservatives, overall viewers’ emotional response to the ad was lower than for Labour’s.

The study used brain imaging techniques on 109 voters aged 18- to 65-years-old. Participants were not asked about their political beliefs but were selected to be broadly representative of the population as a whole.