Spring’s been a little bit different in the United Kingdom this year — not because the UK’s had particularly wonderful weather (we haven’t) or we’re going through yet another dramatic political upheaval (we aren’t, for once). It’s because it’s felt like the whole season has been one big event.
In one of the countries with the fewest public holidays in the world, the combination of three bank holidays in quick succession and two truly global occasions has given the nation a party atmosphere.
A couple of weeks ago, Liverpool hosted the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of last year’s winners Ukraine, and it was every bit the celebration of inclusive, musical craziness it promises to be every year.
Then, of course, just a week prior, the world’s eyes turned toward London to watch the first coronation of a British monarch in seven decades. Despite the rain, the crowning of King Charles III and Queen Camilla was a glorious celebration of a new era of monarchy and Britain’s world famous pomp and ceremony.
The moment was a brilliant opportunity for news brands to show their strengths, both editorially with informative and incisive coverage and commercially by offering brands an opportunity to show readers they were equally as engaged with the party mood of the nation.
Here are just some of the ways advertisers helped the country celebrate the throning of the King in style.
Fortnum & Mason
It’s probably illegal for a quintessentially British celebration to pass without another beautiful ad from one of the standard bearers of luxury department stores. This year, in its typically evocative style, Fortnum & Mason encouraged readers to try its unique coronation blend of tea, specially crafted for the occasion.
Another usual suspect among advertisers rallying behind the country’s big moments, Tesco continued its jubilee theme of giving back to the community. Readers who purchased food from the supermarket’s coronation range could contribute to a £250,000 donation from Tesco to The Prince’s Trust, an organisation set up when the King was the Prince of Wales to help vulnerable young people make a difference in society.
Big national occasions are always fantastic opportunities for advertisers to place a well-crafted tactical ad, and brands certainly didn’t disappoint. Burger King put its own stamp on the editorial, with the brand giving a helpful hint to what news its famous logo was sandwiching across the entire page.
With the coronation coming at a time when millions of families are struggling through rising inflation, holding the lavish ceremony with visible pomp was controversial for some. However, for those readers that still wanted to party but were watching the pennies, Co-op used its newly released loyalty scheme to make sure parties were well stocked with Britain’s essential summer tipple.
Transport for London
Brand partnerships such as this story from Transport for London’s long-standing collaboration with Metro also helped readers make the most of the festivities. This story showed how the capital’s transport network was to be decked with homages to the coronation, from beautifully designed artwork for London’s famous red buses to reimagined looks to the Tube’s iconic roundels.
The National Lottery
Meanwhile, the party atmosphere across the country helped brands get involved even without being directly connected to the big event. The National Lottery’s flagship Saturday draw helpfully coincided with the coronation, meaning readers were in with a chance to bag the “king of all jackpots.”