The Truth About Britain: keeping up with an ever-changing nation

Research from McCann explores the values and mood of the nation so that brands can better appeal to Brits

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


In an age of polarization and pandemic confusion the mood of the nation is difficult to capture.

At its recent Truth About Britain event, McCann presented its latest research and provided an analysis of the range and breadth of the opinions of the nation, having interviewed 1,200 people from across the country to uncover what Britain is really thinking.

Insights were collected by McCann Worldgroup’s Truth Central, a global intelligence unit dedicated to unearthing the macro-level truths that drive people’s attitudes and behaviours towards life, brands and marketing. 

Uncertain but optimistic 

While it might be expected that the number one word used to describe the mood of the nation was ‘uncertain’, hope has replaced anger with 61% of respondents agreeing that ‘in an uncertain world it is more important to enjoy yourself today’. 

Overwhelmingly, people seem to be seeking safety, security and comfort and are looking to brands, particularly supermarkets, as trustworthy voices where they feel failed by politicians and government. Where there is a lack of confidence in politics, there is an opportunity for brands to take a strong stance and make people feel better represented. 

A nation of individuals

The survey looked at both Britain as a nation and the individuals that make up the nation of Britain. McCann used the analogy of a Rocky Boat to describe the journey of Brits, where each individual is in their own boat in a shared storm, weathering the turbulent conditions. To describe the nation as a whole, the analogy of a Castle was used to represent strength and sturdiness. The Castle also alludes to the fact that Britain as a nation upholds traditional values. 

At a time when the nation might seem divided, the findings showed that people are brought together through a shared sense of humour; a quality cited as that the nation is most proud of. Similarly, a sense of decency and morality are both strongly held values for Brits. 

Connecting with Britain and the British people is a difficult challenge for brands, yet there are shared qualities that people hold dear that brands can appeal to. Tailoring approaches and being adaptable to rapid change are extremely important to creating authentic communications, as well as being unafraid to take a leading role in contributing to conversations that are important to the nation helping to craft a more memorable brand identity.

To find out more about The Truth About Britain and the mood of the nation, please click here.

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