sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul

Wings Over Scotland

And finally… #19

Posted on February 14, 2013 by

We’re becoming increasingly concerned that perhaps Scotland SHOULD extinguish any remaining vestiges of independence and allow itself to be incorporated into a Greater England, if our education system is anything to go by.

We’ve highlighted on several occasions a catastrophically poor grasp of arithmetic in the Scottish populace, although for some reason it seems to be restricted to those intending to vote No in the referendum.


“20 times 10 is 500” is bad even for Rangers fans, though.

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42 to “And finally… #19”

  1. He he he he no doubt endorsed by the ex chancellor.


  2. Megsmaw says:

    simply LOL!


  3. DonUnder says:

    To be fair it would be 20 x 11 but still…wow


  4. Baheid says:

    To who ever hired someone to construct this, (I would double check their invoice)


  5. Midgehunter says:

    U KOK / U KOK-UP


  6. The Man in the Jar says:

    Hey! Ease up on the poor wee soul.
    He is only the product of a state education probably run by a labour coun.
    Oh forget it!


  7. Indion says:

    ‘No Scotland’ could have had 300 signed-up already :-(

    But what’s 500 anyway :-)

    Speaking of pledges, suggest you check your email Stu …. or was #19 coincidence or my cue?


  8. lumilumi says:

    To be fair, maybe he’s counting on exponential growth, e.g. 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128 and so forth.
    Remember Margo at the independence rally last September. 1/3 of Scots are  pro-independence. If everyone turned just one other person by autumn 2014, that’d be 2/3 independence. No algebraic gimmickry, just plain common sense, and a steady, whatsitcalled, arithmetic series? (Sorry, it’s 25 yrs since I did proper maths)


  9. Jiggsbro says:

    Unfortunately, the catastrophically poor grasp of arithmetic isn’t restricted to those intending to vote No in the referendum. An ‘Independence for Scotland’ cause on the same site suggests that “If 30 of us get 10 friends to take the pledge, we’ll reach our goal of 1,000”

    In fact, the ‘catastrophically poor grasp of arithmetic’ comes from failing to include the number of existing pledges in the calculation. In the case of ‘Independence for Scotland’, it’s 744, so 30×10+744 will reach the target of 1000. For the Rangers fans, 20×10+317 > 500.
    I’ll get my coat.


  10. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “For the Rangers fans, 20×10+317 > 500”

    Ah, but that doesn’t work, because you don’t need 20×10 to get past 500. A mere 19 would be plenty…



  11. DaveO says:

    Being kind here – I looked at the site and they already had 300 sign ups so I guess he was just looking for the difference to reach his 500.


  12. Dal Riata says:

    If you follow the ‘Rangers fans’ link above and read some the comments on ’causes’ set up by a Mr. Shearer – stuff like ‘Keep Scotland British and Better Together’ and ‘ Keep Scotland British’ (“From the High Lands” [sic] to the Low Lands [sic]” ROFL!) – it’s really depressing to see what passes for Vote No-ism.
    What gets me is not the ignorance and bigotry so much as the aggression, offensiveness and hostility voiced in many posts. How sad it is to see what indoctrination and right-wing corruption has done to so many people in this country of ours.
    Vote ‘Yes’ for a better future.    


  13. Jiggsbro says:

    Ah, but that doesn’t work, because you don’t need 20×10 to get past 500. A mere 19 would be plenty…
    I’m guessing it works with round numbers. The message is dynamically generated by the site, not added and updated by the creator of the cause.


    I don’t know why you Bravehearts should get all bent out of shape and up in the kid’s grill about his perfectly reasonable point of view.
    This quaint requirement for rigid arithmetical conformity, is so last century.
    If the boy’s considered opinion is that 10×30 ~ 500, who are you to dispute that? We all have our opinion, and you should respect that.
    That’s what’s wrong with you cybergnat  jihadis, your’e so intolerant! Only you perceive the truth, everyone else is wrong.
    And you really have to let go of this “equals” (=) baloney. The Better Subsumed Campaign and the rest of the world (he-llo!) have long since adopted the tilde (~) as a reasonable way of acknowledging that other people may have a different take on the maths.
    It would help you understand this better if your Dear Leader, Generalissimo Eck, were to instruct you in the basic rules of fuzzy logic and its handmaiden, woolly maths.
    It is essential to gain at least a rudimentary understanding of these disciplines if you are to have a hope of grasping the key principles of their progeny:  Truthiness!
    It is practiced here in Glasgow at Smith House, in Holyrood by ALL opposition parties, and indeed through out the rest of England, too!
    When you have done that, maybe you too will see why we are Better Subsumed!
    Sheez! “[A] catastrophically poor grasp of arithmetic”.  As if !   
    LOL!  What a bunch of maroons!


  15. Indion says:

    The point is there were only a max of 300 signed-up on 23 Jan! As that adds up to SFA, even Gordon Strachan might be a worried man.


  16. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I’m guessing it works with round numbers. The message is dynamically generated by the site, not added and updated by the creator of the cause.”

    Eeww. That’s grotesque.


  17. Cuphook says:

    I’ve just watched the SNP party political broadcast and was surprised to see that it was an advertisement for Yes Scotland. Are all party political broadcasts just ads or is this one different? 


  18. Indion says:

    The difference it will make is the number of folk who might have seen it when broadcast and will visit and stick around to sign-up for the way ahead. 


  19. Cuphook says:

    I get that. I was asking the question as I’ve probably only seen one PPB before and it didn’t look anything like this one. Do all the parties have similar PPBs ie advertisements?


  20. Thanks for the link.
    Yeah, I just watch it, too. Whoever in the SNP who saw the story boards then actually commissioned this, should be sacked on the spot.
    Whoever in the SNP approved the finished product for broadcast needs to go to a quiet place with a trusted kaishakunin and commit seppuku. 
    The SNP gets so few opportunities on the BBC to put their case unfiltered, that you’d think they’d make intelligent use of the time. This was completely appalling.
    The production values were fine, it was the the whole approach that sucked.
    The only bit that was good was the use of “let’s get together”, echoing the NO camp slogan and official name – that was smart – very Sun Tsu – ish, using one’s opponents thrust against him.
    Subliminally likely to stick in the mind like toffee, and if it could be used often enough, the phrase “Better Together” would become associated with the YES campaign in the consciousness of the Low-information voter. That way we could get the Unionists to carry our water for us every time they utter the words.
    Well, that’s the only silver lining in the cloud. There is simply no excuse for this degree of incompetence on our side.


  21. Cuphook says:

    I disagree; and that’s from someone who hates adverts. I’m the guy at the flicks who’s always surprised at the stupidity of my fellow humans as they ooh and aww and laugh at the latest advert for Shiny Shiny brought to you by Happiness Inc. I just can’t get over people liking adverts.
    But people do seem to like adverts, and they dislike politicians telling them what to think, so it’s probably quite clever to avoid all but the aspirational message and the name of the site where you can go to find out your own answers. 

    I’ve now got this running through my head



  22. Gavin Barrie says:

    I work in Marketing for the a retail bank and I look after Customer Insight and manage a team of analysts and researchers doing ; econometric forecasting, modelling and prediction of UK consumers behaviour and needs … Which includes research. Most companies conduct panel research to the public before and after they run adverts, so they can look at changes in awareness and consideration of their brand and measure the impact of their ads. It’s not terribly expensive and I would be VERY surprised if the SNP hadn’t done this too. 
    This advert ran a couple of times in Q4 last year, so they’ve had plenty of time to assess it’s impact. The fact it’s being used again, when they have had the time and they certainly have the money to make another, suggests to me that they know its working … You may not like it, but I’m guessing it measures well … The so called ‘cut through’.
    Previous posters have expressed concern that they feel the advert doesn’t work, that it doesn’t communicate enough … That’s not an adverts job to be honest. An advert is there as a hook, to raise curiosity, to make a Customer interested in a brand or cause and to to either want to find out more themselves, or be more attentive to that Brand’s message the next time they receive a further piece I’d email /direct mail/advert / editorial, etc. 
    from that perspective and using my critical eye, I think this advert does very well, please be assured. Remember, that the ‘US’ reading Wings are not the target for this advert. We are already open, informed and responsive … It’s aimed at everyone else. 


  23. velofello says:

    @ Gavin Barrie, ahem,
    Well spoken. The SNP political broadcast is a repeat of of last year. Yes Scotland since been tagged on to raise the public awareness of…Yes Scotland. And rather than some droll grey figure lambasting other political parties and promising to cut income tax by one pence or whatever, this SNP broadcast suggests to the viewer a chirpy smiling working together people and endorses the Yes Scotland.
    As regards the Better together “plea” shown here. Don’t interrupt the lad whilst he is miring away. One concern though is any possibility he gets involved in vote counting at the referendum.


  24. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    I liked the broadcast a lot – hadn’t seen it last year – although the final “reveal” is a bit weak. I also think the choice of song, as I’ve said before, is really daft, because most people probably still associate it with the Roxy Music hit version, “Let’s STICK Together”.

    What concerns me a lot more is that I tried to find that broadcast last night on both the YesScotland and SNP websites, and got nothing. (I remembered the iPlayer also carried PPBs, but searched for “SNP” rather than “Scottish National Party” and drew a blank, duh.) That is PROPERLY rubbish. Neither organisation has an inspiring or useful site – though YS’s is better – and whoever dropped that particular clanger needs a smack.

    (While I’m on the subject, the SNP posted a press release somewhere in the Christmas/New Year period with some stats showing Scotland had been better off financially than the UK basically forever. I can’t dig it out now for the life of me. Anyone remember it, or was I dreaming?)


  25. Cuphook says:

    Is this what you’re looking for? If it is, you must be having a sleepy morning as that took 5 seconds to find.


  26. Morag says:

    I remember being shown that broadcast in October 2011.  I found it frustrating and with a disappointing reveal at the time, and believed it was a missed opportunity to get some actual points across.  When I saw the SNP rosette come on screen last night, I paid attention in the hope of some good stuff.  In fact I went to make a cup of tea about 90 seconds later.
    But I’m not the target audience.  If it works for the target audience, I’m not complaining.


  27. BlueTiles says:

    With regard to the Rangers site, I especially like the section where he discusses media bias and the agenda of newspapers. 
    I wonder if he’d entertain the notion that this idea could be applied to most of his arguments for staying ‘Better Together’. No? Probably not. 
    ‘They may lie tae us aboot oor Rangers but they’d nevur lie tae us aboot oor Britain’.


  28. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    Is this what you’re looking for? If it is, you must be having a sleepy morning as that took 5 seconds to find.”

    It is, ta. The reason I couldn’t find it is that for some reason I saw it over the festive period, so was searching in December and January…


  29. Cuphook says:

    I always find it easier to search on Google than in a site. As long as you triangulate your search it usually comes up with the result.
    There’s the Google site search. Something like:
    “press release”
    The first hit brings up all the press releases but you’d have to find the right one.


  30. The alternative to that ad is NOT some pol sitting behind a desk finger-wagging at viewers. It isn’t either that, or this ad. That’s not the choice at all.
    There are other ways to spend that amount of time and money getting the message across.
    By the way, what WAS the message precisely, do you know? How much of that message do you think could be inculcated in one showing or three or even four showings over a period of 20 months? Because that’s all your likely to git on broadcast media – unless you’re going to use all time available on this “impression”.
    Do you think the average uninterested viewer we need to vote will sit through this or pay sufficient attention to make the cost in limited resources and precious, strictly limited airtime worthwhile? Do you think they will make their way to youtube to watch it?
    As part of an intensive coordinated TV PPB, radio, youtube, and press campaign, I could see that this soft intro could be useful if broadcast again and again at the target demographic. But that’s not what we have here. We have a one-off, rarely shown 3min 7sec piece the great majority of which communicates nothing related independence or the referendum.
    As for the presumed efficacy based on the assumed focus grouping – show me the data. It would be true to say, would it not, that we have no information related to what testing was done with respect to this ad? 
    If the data back the supposition, it’d make me a believer. However in its absence, the supposition remains exactly that.
    Unfortunately, this is NOT part of a commercial advertising campaign that can buy broadcast time by the bushel to get the message across to the TV viewer. That is outlawed here, and that’s why we have state sanctioned party political broadcasts.. So there really is no equivalence between a commercial TV advertising campaign and the very limited-opportunity party political broadcast.
    That a focus group MAY have seen it and liked it tells us precisely nothing, nix, nada, about its usefulness in reaching and materially influencing the low-information voter who will receive minimal exposure to it. That is, the cohort whom we need to vote YES.
    As for it being “Get Together” or “STICK together”, it is a distinction without a difference when we are talk about generic associations that form in the back of the mind of the  uninterested viewer. 
    In any case, I certainly associated it with Canned Heat’s original  “Let’s Work Together”, rather than the Roxy Music coverI think it is evident that the creators thought that too, since the narrative that precedes the music talks specifically about us working together and a that there’s a lot of work to be done.
    This ad is a pig for the reasons delineated no matter what colour of lipstick you may choose to put on it. It is immaterial whether you or I liked it. It’s about the most efficient use or abuse of an extremely limited resource – TV time.
    The threat posed to a successful outcome of this campaign by the print press and broadcast media is grave . That the very limited opportunity to get our message across unfiltered should be frittered away on this sort of ad is an act of campaign malfeasance. 


  31. Keef says:

    What he said. :-)


  32. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The first hit brings up all the press releases but you’d have to find the right one.”

    The SNP site itself has a pretty comprehensive press-release search function, but as I said, I was looking in December and January so it couldn’t help me. And I couldn’t think of any distinctive words to search for.


  33. “An advert is there as a hook, to raise curiosity, to make a Customer interested in a brand or cause and to to either want to find out more themselves, or be more attentive to that Brand’s message the next time they receive a further piece I’d email /direct mail/advert / editorial, etc. “
    No, in this case that is not what it is about at all. The intent is inculcation of a positive attitude to the idea of independence that eschews the need for conscious consideration.
    It isn’t about imparting information, or to pique interest. It is about seeding an emotion among a large section of the electorate and that absolutely requires sufficient repetition and market penetration that you cannot possibly achieve with the very limited air time allowed political parties.
    The severe legal constraints on a political party’s use of broadcast media make any comparison with the far greater access afforded a commercial campaign (that DOES allow efficacious use of this technique), invalid. It is as comparing apples to moon rocks.


  34. Cuphook says:

    Yeah, I did look at their search function and was impressed by its efficiency. GDP is the magic word there – it’s always used in these comparisons.
    I just Googled: scottish national party financial statistics uk and it was the second result. You do need three terms of reference to enable a quick and effective search.


  35. Gavin Barrie says:

    I don’t have any direct information on how well this ad has been received, but let me try to use my 10 years experience in Marketing, which includes Radio, press and TV advertising to try and explain why that although I *agree* this advert could be improved, I don’t think it’s the car crash that some of you think.
    Consumers, in general, don’t notice advertising unless it’s different, eye catching, novel and new. It takes a lot of psychology and tricks to get people to pay attention to an advert and stop it just being visual wallpaper and the same tricks that they are using to get ‘non believers’ to listen to their message are the same ones that are hacking you lot off.
    Common tricks are cute (Andrex Puppy) or deliberately annoying (Go Compare) characters, catchy music (Gorrilla advert WITH memorable music for Cadburys), Bold Statements (SAVE £100 or your money back) or … and here’s the last one … consciously goign against the grain of what people EXPECT to see when that advert comes on.
    So, for Washing powder you expect to see clothes, for food you expect glorious closeups of a cooked meal making it look yummy and you being a hero to your satisfied kids, for Cars you want either want powerful/performance/exhileration or it’ll make your life easier as you can get your whole tribe, wardrobe, dog and kitchen sink within and it’ll be cheap to ensure.
    What do you expect from a political ad? Have a think.
    You either expect a single person telling you how they’ll change the future (yeah right) or you expect voxpops to camera of people saying why they think Party X is the best thing since sliced bread and you think yeah right they are all actors.

    This then divides into two camps. If you support the party that is advertising, you strain your ears for every single crusial policy that you think they shuold be saying and you are delighted when it fits your assumptinos and infuriorated if it doesn’t.
    What if you don’t support that party? You either turn off, turn over, or watch for a few seconds to the monologue and remain completely cynical about it.
    So you are either re-inforcing the beliefs of those already engaged, or making more cynical the people that are already opposed to you.
    What about the undecided in the middle? Well they don’t know what to believe because it’s just the same old same old. So what do you do?
    You have do to something different, something disruptive. You have to find a way to make those people who are opposed to you less reactive and a little less hostile.
    MOST CRUCIALLY You have to appeal to those in the middle who are undecided to make them watch the whole by being something they don’t expect or being funny or entertaining them, leave them wanting more. That’s what this advert does.
    People will be expecting Blah Blah Blah. And they don’t get it. They get a nice bit of music and a visual puzzle of people doing something but they dont know what it is, it sets their foot tapping and they’ll look up from their iPad or newspaper and watch the rest of it because it’s grabbed their curiosity and they want to know the end. After they think ‘Oh Thats different’.
    A better example was ‘What has the Scottish Government ever doen for us’ That was utter fecking genius. I would have repeated that, butt hats not about Independence. Independence is about us, as a country working together.
    So the last group, those of us that already get it, that are straining our ears because we want affirmation and confirmation off the facts we already know, that are looking for key phrases … and we think IF ONLY people out there hear these key phrases they will have a Damascus moment and convert.
    No, I’m sorry it just doesn’t work like that … they wouldn’t listen at this stage, you have to win them over a little bit and make them watch all the way through. So I’m very sorry that no matter how angry you are, or frustrated you are, or how you feel they are missing the point and you wish they would do something else …
    … please relax. The advert isn’t meant for you, you are the 25-35% they already have in their camp. This is for the other lot … and you MUST use different tactics.
    Remember we have a more than a year to go, keep fighting the good fight, be there for when the great Undecided ask ‘Did you see that Yes, Scotland’ advert on telly, it wasn’t what I was expecting. Use that to spread the good word.
    That advert is doing a different, vitally important and necessary job and you simply have to accept that. It’s helping in a different way, trust me 😉


  36. Gavin Barrie says:

    Excuse the typos, rattling that out in my lunch hour before my next flood of meetings 😉 Oh Joy.


  37. Morag says:

    A better example was ‘What has the Scottish Government ever doen for us’ That was utter fecking genius.
    It was, wasn’t it?  My mother bitched about it, saying she thought it was ridiculous, but then she’d never heard of Life of Brian.  I tried to explain to her that it was on the contrary absolutely inspired, but I don’t think she believed me until I took her morning tea in about 8.30 on 6th May.
    This one I just don’t grok, but I hope they know what they’re doing.


  38. Chic McGregor says:

    AA I think I see what is happening,  Initially I was stumped but the clue is in the phrase ‘take the pledge’.


  39. P G McLaughlin says:

    Don’t know a thing about advertising but have been walking around the house all morning singing ‘C’mon C’mon lets get tegther, lets all vote YES, lets get together’.  Driving myself mad!


  40. Gavin Barrie says:

    P G McLaughlin says:
    15 February, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Don’t know a thing about advertising but have been walking around the house all morning singing ‘C’mon C’mon lets get tegther, lets all vote YES, lets get together’.  Driving myself mad!
    And you’ve just been infected with the Catchy Song – the Meme in your head that you can’t get rid off. Ahhh the evil power of advertising 😉


  41. scottish_skier says:

    A party political broadcast which mentions no political party, neither the party that made it nor opposition parties. A party political broadcast with no bigging up of specific policies, no negative attacks on opposition parties, in fact no mention of specific party politics in general at all. Strange huh?

    Just an upbeat tune and hopefully visually enticing enough to make you watch to see what happens at the end…When it again does not mention any party, but says the word ‘Yes’ in association with moving ‘forward’ and directs you to YesScotland.

    It’s not aimed at Yes voters, nor definite no voters. It’s aimed at getting people ‘in the middle’ to have a think, maybe go have a look online.

    Some might not like it, but it’s not a typical British party political broadcast and that’s the intent.

    EDIT. And I happen to find myself whistling the tune too…


  42. the rough bounds says:

    Regarding that SNP broadcast I can only say that it didn’t spin my wheels.
    It looked like some kind of lead in to something, but apart from the Yes Scotland web address at the very end it just sort of fizzled out.
    This SNP Government has achieved a lot in its few years. Couldn’t we have had a list of those things scrolling up at the end?
    Couldn’t we have had another list after that showing exactly what we could achieve with independence?
    Arty farty was my take on it. Sorry if you disagree.


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