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Marketing Brexit: An exploratory study of young voter engagement in relation to the EU referendum

Pich, Christopher; Harvey, John; Armannsdottir, Guja; Poorrezaei, Mojtaba; Branco-Illodo, Ines; Kincaid, Andrew


Christopher Pich

Associate Professor

Guja Armannsdottir

Mojtaba Poorrezaei

Ines Branco-Illodo

Andrew Kincaid


This article presents a study of young voter engagement in relation to the EU referendum—a democratic vote on the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union. Using the marketing concept of engagement, we examine how young voters engaged cognitively, emotionally, and behaviorally with the referendum and its associated campaigns. A mixed-method study combining multiple-phase questionnaires, longitudinal social network analysis of Twitter, and sentiment analysis provides a rich empirical description of young voter engagement. The findings reveal that young voter engagement is multi-faceted and varies enormously across our sample, particularly for behavioral engagement online. We subsequently question the analytical relevance of the engagement construct for political marketing before developing a typology to classify young voters according to the variance and extent of their specific engagement profile, which we define as " Prototypical Engagement Personae. " We conclude the article by presenting an agenda for future research on young voter engagement.


Pich, C., Harvey, J., Armannsdottir, G., Poorrezaei, M., Branco-Illodo, I., & Kincaid, A. (2018). Marketing Brexit: An exploratory study of young voter engagement in relation to the EU referendum. International Journal of Market Research, 60(6), 589-610.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Sep 1, 2018
Online Publication Date Sep 3, 2018
Publication Date 2018-11
Deposit Date Feb 27, 2019
Publicly Available Date Mar 11, 2019
Journal International Journal of Market Research
Print ISSN 1470-7853
Electronic ISSN 2515-2173
Publisher World Advertising Research Center
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 60
Issue 6
Pages 589-610
Keywords engagement; political marketing; social media; young voter
Public URL
Publisher URL


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