A FEW months ago the First Minister asked the independence movement to help get support growing. It wasn’t passing the buck – it was saying that the SNP can’t do everything themselves. They are limited by rules and they want it to be clear to all that support for independence and support for the SNP are not the same thing.
The All Under One Banner group have certainly tried to do that and we’ve seen some of the largest marches for independence ever in towns and cities across Scotland. As heartening as it is for other supporters to see that they’re not alone, the claim from some quarters that we’re only preaching to the converted has some uncomfortable merit to it.
Now there is a new group trying to pick up the baton with a view to getting the message out to a wider audience. The It Is Time Scotland group are a not for profit organisation looking to raise funds to purchase advertising space across the country and use the posters developed by Colin Dunn, Stewart Kerr Brown, Scott Cowper and others in a multi-media campaign encompassing pubs and clubs, billboards, social media and with plans to move into projection advertising and even, if funds allow, TV and radio.
There is only so long you can sit and ask “what are you going to do about this” before you have to ask yourself “what are YOU doing about this”. The group includes business owners, creative media artists, IT specialists and those who have the time and energy to get involved and propose ideas. It’s very much a grassroots organisation and all of those involved have full time jobs, but have managed to put together an advertising campaign which kicks off this week and aims to run and run.
The first phase involves a series of 10-second adverts in pubs and clubs across Glasgow and Edinburgh highlighting Scotland’s natural resources. The main aim is to drive conversation and challenge preconceptions.
Scotland is Big Enough, Smart Enough, Rich Enough. That’s what the group want to get across. The plan was to use the social venue campaign to promote a crowdfunder. But Tom Ullathorne, one of the campaign’s assets, suggested launching early, so this weekend that’s what they did. The initial target was a relatively modest, but not insignificant, £4000. That target was reached and surpassed within hours. The target has been extended twice to now stand at £12,000. The response has meant the group can accelerate plans and move to the next phase earlier. They’re now looking at getting adverts on billboards as soon as the second week in October.
But the group recognise that they don’t have all the right answers and that what works in one area may not work in another. The overall branding for the group is It’s Time Scotland, although a number of other groups have used similar phrasing, thanks must go to the former Prime Minister Theresa May handing the independence campaign a slogan by decreeing that “now is not the time”.
They want to work with local pro-independence groups to create localised campaigns. It’s Time Stirling, It’s Time Galashiels, It’s Time Aberdeen, you get the idea.
If you have an idea of what would work in your area and can raise half the money for a campaign the group will look at funding the other half. Those contributing to the crowdfunder are not just funding one group, they’re enabling groups up and down Scotland to promote independence, challenge preconceptions and get polls moving relentlessly and unstoppably towards a solid support for Scotland taking its place as an independent country.
Look out for the billboards and adverts in Edinburgh and Glasgow over the coming weeks and post your pictures on social media with the hashtag #ItsTime. If you can help by sharing your posts, contributing to the crowdfunder, or by presenting your own ideas and asking their creative team to put something together for you, you can help win independence.
There are far more people in Scotland who aren’t on social media than are. There are far more independence supporters who don’t go on marches than those who do. But if these adverts can even drive someone to try to prove the facts in them are wrong, only to find out they’re true, this could be the thing that makes a difference. If you want to be part of it, follow @itstimescot on Twitter or Facebook, go to the website at itstime.scot and download the posters to print for yourself, or, if you can, donate to the crowdfunder.
Don’t ask what the independence campaign can do for you, ask what you can do for the independence campaign.