ThinkOTB Agency

Was the King’s Coronation a marketeer’s dream?

May 9, 2023

No matter where you were this weekend you won’t have been able to miss the Coronation celebrations, for the Coronation of King Charles III. So, what did brands (particularly British brands) do to take advantage of the Coronation and this landmark event?

As marketeers we’re always aiming to get the sentiment of national celebrations just right and create compelling marketing that resonates with our target audiences, using emotional tactics to influence consumers’ purchasing decisions.

The power of nostalgia 

Tapping into nostalgia using generation-defining moments like the Coronation can evoke positive emotions and build a sense of familiarity and trust. 81% of Brits have said they enjoy things that remind them of the past and 65% said they were more likely to buy from brands that they remember from their childhood.

The key elements that make up a marketing campaign:

Before we look at those brands that got it right over the King’s Coronation, let’s start by looking at the key elements required to create a successful ‘nostalgia’ marketing campaign.

  1. Make your campaign appropriate – it needs to connect emotionally, but that doesn’t mean people want to see something that makes them sad.
  2. The campaign needs to be authentic and consistent with the brand.
  3. A campaign needs to create stand-out, not just because of the overall message but in how you approach the advert. Ensure the content is something that only your brand can own.
  4. Brands have had to tread a careful line. There is negativity and some indifference surrounding the monarchy, so brands using nostalgia about the country rather than the crown are the ones that have been the most successful
  5. Be careful to not fall foul of advertising regulations. There’s been plenty of advice on making Coronation adverts compliant by the ASA.
  6. And finally, create a clear story that puts your brand at the heart of the advert and the nostalgia.

So, let’s look at a few ads that we think have hit the mark over the Coronation and why:

1.   Uber’s ‘Coronation Carriage’

Marking the occasion in its own unique way, Uber created a horse-drawn golden carriage. It promised rides fit for a King. Offering a taste of royal life, the company’s ‘Coronation Carriage’ campaign took place in London over the Coronation, where the campaign was authentic and consistent with the brand itself, whilst delivering humour.

Uber's horse-drawn Coronation carriage

2.     Tesco opens its own pub to help the nation celebrate

Tesco created ‘The King in the Castle’ public house in Farringdon. It featured a menu of products from the supermarket’s limited-edition Coronation food range. Tesco’s campaign centred on nostalgia playing on the importance of local communities, bringing people together to mark the special occasion.

Tesco's Coronation pub, The King in the Castle

3.   Cadbury’s limited edition Coronation range

Cadbury released an exclusive 850g chocolate bar with a limited edition design. It depicted an elegant white crown. Cadbury’s used this simple graphic to highlight all the definitive events that the brand has been associated with since creating a special tin in 1902 to mark the Coronation of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.

Cadbury Coronation edition Dairy Milk bar

4. The Times’ long-awaited ad

The Times and Sunday Times’ campaign drew comparisons with our anticipation of the event and King Charles’ own 70-year wait as heir apparent. Their campaign highlighted the historic nature of the event. It also encouraged readers to interact with this new era via The Times and Sunday Times platform.

The Times coronation marketing campaign 'The Wait is Over'

Which ad over the Coronation period stole the show for you? Do you agree with our shortlist? If not, which ad should have been featured on our list? Let us know your thoughts. 


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