With the Queen 90 this week, what better time to tempt consumers with a Corgi-inspired cake or two.
It’s become commonplace for brands to jump on the opportunity for a royal-inspired ‘real-time’ ad campaign - think of the birth of Prince George and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, which was a commercial success for supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Asda; the former attributed its 1.4% uplift in like-for-like sales to that event, while Asda celebrated an 85% increase in sales of Champagne and sparkling wine in that period.
So it’s surprising that shelves have been relatively bare of celebratory packs in the run up to Her Majesty’s 90th. M&S has delivered a celebration silver biscuit tin, and Asda has created a cake inspired by the Queen’s Corgis.
In part, this could be because brands and retailers have learned, and retained, the lessons from the Jubilee, namely that any links or brand association need to be appropriate to the brand essence. Brands are asking themselves why they’re considering royal tie-ins, whether it’s in keeping with their brand messaging, and what they’re hoping to gain from any activity.
The brands we’re working with acknowledge that. When it comes to packaging, cut-through on shelf will be harder to achieve since there’s no exclusivity to this kind of activity. Whether it’s to tie in with a national event or a limited run to shake things up, a brand has to do something noteworthy to truly stand out. (For instance, for the Diamond Jubilee, M&S developed a fantastic range that was on theme and brand, but also fun and tongue in cheek, which worked well with the celebratory mood.)
Yet for those brands prepared to do the legwork, there’s still everything to play for; there’s a healthy pipeline of celebratory activities taking place in the coming weeks, ranging from a Celebration Pageant to a Patron’s Lunch Street Party.
National occasions offer an opportunity for people to celebrate with their communities - including street parties. And where there is a party, there will be food and booze. Expect to see consumers scouring shelves to help them theme occasions such as street parties.Brands like Ladurée are getting it right. It’s offering an array of special-edition luxury macaroon boxes. Lyle’s has it bang on with its golden syrup packaging, too.
As a legion of super-fans make their way to Windsor for the start of the Queen’s celebrations, there’s plenty of opportunity for brands to capitalise. Collectors will be chasing high-end keepsakes, while Joe Public will invest in consumable themed ideas for the festivities.
Sonia Whiteley-Guest is group commercial director of Sun Branding Solutions