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As of yet, I’ve not heard anyone speak with any convincing certainty about what will happen if we decide to Brexit. Following the opening Team Cam Vs Team BoGo salvos though, one thing is perfectly clear: over the next three months we are going to be inundated by career politicians and so-called business experts (who appear to be motivated primarily by personal gain – yes Michael O’Leary, I mean you) exaggerating how bad things will be if we do/don’t vote to leave.

They’ve already started to hit us where they know it hurts – our jobs, the economy and our personal safety.  Come 23rd June we’ll all have been so exposed to this scaremongering that I’m almost certain we’ll end up voting through fear rather than a balanced decision based on reasoned argument.


As is always the case, there will be very little exposure given to the less newsworthy but more sensible and considered thoughts. Like this one from Neil Woodford (probably the UK’s most successful fund manager over the last 20 years), which to me, a pro-democracy liberal, is by far the most well-thought-out and realistic economic view that I’ve heard to date.

This emphasis placed on exaggerated reality is nothing new in politics. Nor is it new in many other aspects of our lives.

For example, for years we’ve been told that a Big Mac looks like this…

big mac

…when we all know that in reality its usually unearthed from its carton-board box looking something more like this.

flat burger

And when looking for a partner on a dating website we often get attracted to an image like this…


…only for the reality to end up looking a bit more like this…


Ok, so I exaggerate. But the point here is that for years we’ve all become conditioned to accept disappointment.

But here at Table19 we’re backing a new trend that could change all this: brands doing exactly what they promise.

We call this ‘Closing the expectation gap’. And when you pause to think about it, the brands we’re increasingly attracted to are those with virtually no difference between what they promise and what we actually get.

AirBnB promise us access to ‘unique places to stay in over 190 countries’ – a gateway to amazing treehouse accommodation like this.


And everyday, ordinary, but no less unique accommodation like this…

living room

No bells, no whistles.

No exaggerated reality.

Uber have revolutionised the way we travel around the world using the same approach.  Uber’s promise is to be the smartest way to get around. And they believe that ‘your day belongs to you’ – so have developed a proposition that takes the hassle out of getting around – one tap and a car comes directly to you. The driver knows exactly where to go. It’s cheaper and the payment is completely cashless. If a customer is incorrectly charged, e.g. for cancelling a journey when you and the driver were never connected, two clicks in the Help section of the app means you’re instantly credited the full amount.


Amazon have also succeeded by giving us access to practically everything we could ever need and then getting it to us exactly when they say they are going to.


With these brands closing the expectation gap, I predict that 2016 will see our patience with those continuing to over-promise and under-deliver ebb away. And, worryingly for the likes of McDonalds and Tinder photoshoppers, the door is opening ever-wider for innovative new entrants to come in and capitalise on our growing refusal to accept an exaggerated reality.

Whether this trend will come in time to save the great Brexit debate from descending into ever-greater embellishment I’m not so sure. But one thing to hearten us that this could well be the last major political event of exaggerated reality. Because if the rise of ‘real’ brands is anything to go by, there’s an opportunity out there for the first politician bold enough to be open, honest and hyperbole-free. So go on Dave or Boris, why not be the one to seize it…

– Matt Broekhuizen, Director