I want to talk about one last technique to ease endowment, and that is to frame new things as old ones. On May 21st, 2015, Dominic Cummings agreed to help start an organization that would eventually called Vote Leave. The next day, he began the monumental task of getting Britons to get up there almost 50-year membership in the European Union. Unlike traditional policy making, referendums are determined by public opinion, rather than a small set of politicians, it's sent to voters to make the decision and not surprisingly, most referendums fail. In Oregon and California, for example, the two states with the highest number of statewide initiatives, only about a third of the referendums pass. Worldwide, the numbers only slightly larger, and it makes sense why. For referendums to succeed, millions of people have to be persuaded to change, to give up what they were doing before and to do something new, which as we've discussed, is quite challenging. Cummings recognize this issue. He realized that the status quo is fundamentally easier to explain. Doesn't require unpacking why the EU is bad or how complex flow of subsidies, grants, and other support might not balance out the money Britain was investing in the Union, the people would remain in the EU, all they had to do was stay the course, do what they've already done, don't mess things up. So if Leave had even a chance of staging an upset, they couldn't get stuck in the weeds. They had to have a simple message that anyone can understand. So they bought a big red bus and they stamped it with the Vote Leave slogan. He had politicians drive around the country speaking to voters. On one side of the bus, in large white letters it read, "We send the EU £350 million a week, let's fund our National Health Service instead." The Brexit bus, as it came to be called, didn't just grab attention. It surface the costs of inaction. Brits might think that staying in the EU was safer, that it was costless, but the bus showed them otherwise, £350 million a week being sent as membership fees to the EU; money that could be better spent in other places. But the bus is also did something else, because below that message and slightly smaller font, Cummings placed the rallying cry for the entire Leave campaign. The slogan started out as just two words, "take control". It was simple, but it needed something else so he played around with different variations. He was well-versed with loss aversion and the status quo bias. He knew that people prefer to stick with things they've already been doing rather than doing something new. So we had to figure out a way to flip things around, make it seem like leaving was the status quo. In a stroke of insight, he changed the slogan slightly. He inserted just one word between "take" and "control". It wasn't just take control, it was "take back control". He had that one word back in between, "Let's take back control." Now, back is a simple word and it doesn't mean a lot, but it triggers loss aversion. It makes it seem like something had been lost and that leaving the EU was a way to regain that again. When British Election Survey surveyed voters, four times many people preferred the "take back control" language. When votes were tallied up, eventually there was a shocking result, Britain's decided to leave the EU. With "take back control", Cummings cleverly reframed the entire debate. He took the endowment effect, and people's increased valuation for what they already have, and reminded them that Britain used to be outside the EU. Leaving wasn't risky, it was simply a way of righting the ship, returning things to how they were already. This strategy isn't always easy to apply, but in many cases, it's a cunning way to turn the tables. It's a cunning way to make something new seem like something old. Politics do this often where they talk about going back to basics. Organizations talk about how a new approach or focus hasn't returned to their roots. Even new products and services can be talked about this way. It's the same thing you've always known and loved, just updated for today's digital age. It's not a change, it's a refresh. Returning to the mug study, people attach to things they've already been doing, whether it's products they own, or beliefs they hold, suppliers they work with, or initiatives they support. So changing minds isn't just about making people more comfortable with new things, as we'll talk about in the uncertainty chapter. So helping them let go of old ones, easing endowment. When to surface the cost of inaction helping people realize that the status quo aren't as costless as it seems. We did burn the ships and take the status quo off the table or at least subsidizing its cost. Like Dominic Cummings did with Brexit, we need to make something new, feel safer by making it seem like it's returning to the way things were. If we can ease endowment, we can get people to change anything.