British Marketers Get in Jubilee Spirit: Ma'amite, Anyone?

With Olympics Out of Bounds for Many, Brands Embrace Royal Celebration

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With the Olympics out of bounds, many marketers are embracing Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee celebrations with a vengeance. The popularity of last year's royal wedding has also motivated brands to celebrate her majesty's anniversary of 60 years on the throne.

Marmite's special Ma'amite edition
Marmite's special Ma'amite edition

Unlike the heavy-handed regulations surrounding Olympics branding, a playful, irreverent mood prevails around Jubilee marketing, with the queen's favorite corgi dogs featuring in many campaigns. Iconic British brand Marmite has made good use of HRH's canine friends in a campaign to promote its special Ma'amite edition -- although as any royal watcher knows, the queen would be horrified by this development.

The correct way to address her is to pronounce the word "ma'am" as "mam" -- and not as "marm."

One wonders what she would make of bookmaker Paddy Power offering odds on her boat suffering a collision during the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant. The queen might prefer the efforts of another Great British brand, the Mini car, whose agency LIDA has created a Facebook app inviting followers to upload a photo or film of themselves doing their best royal wave. The shots are then lined up along a digital royal balcony -- just like the one outside Buckingham Palace -- so they can wave to the world.

Heinz and Kellogg's have both turned the clock back with limited-edition vintage packaging, reproducing designs from the year of the coronation, 1952. United Biscuits has redesigned McVitie's Digestive packs to promote its "Proud to be British" positioning -- and snuck in a reference to "Summer of Sport" under the Olympic radar.

The whole of the U.K. is awash with red, white and blue, with store-window displays and streets festooned with Union Jack bunting. Even Heathrow Airport is in on the act -- it has created a "royal runway" that passengers can enjoy as they come in to land.

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