Although retailers have been selling Jubilee-themed memorabilia for a few weeks now, and brands such as Heinz have paid homage with limited edition packaging, until now we’ve seen little in the way of ad campaigns; it’s certainly no royal Super Bowl. (Indeed, one agency exec told Ad Age they thought advertisers were perhaps “cautious” in the run-up, given the 96-year-old Queen's advanced years and more recent fragile health.)
Brands may also be hesitant to get involved with the Platinum Jubilee because the Royal Family "can be seen as associated with a particular demographic,” said Nikki Cunningham, managing director at Curious, referring to older and patriotic consumers. “But, from a brand perspective, it comes down to knowing your audience and understanding how your brand can own something. When we have something that is being celebrated by a significant proportion of the country, it’s a great opportunity for a brand to put its own spin on it.”
This week has seen advertisers including McDonald's and Subway lean into the festivities with topical royalty-themed campaigns, while others have launched work to coincide with the opening of London’s new Elizabeth Line train service, named after Her Majesty.
Meanwhile, more is taking place on social media, where the Jubilee also has its own emoji—an image of the Queen’s favorite pooch, the corgi, wearing a crown, was unveiled last week.
And with the inflation and the "cost of living crisis" currently dominating headlines as well as the Ukraine war, some brands are also using the royal occasion to help the nation feel good about itself.
"It’s been great to see brands using their advertising to entertain with topical campaigns (McDonald's ‘One’s Lovin’ It’ poster is particularly fun), as opposed to just selling commemorative product," commented Brian Sassoon, strategy partner at Ogilvy U.K. "This year more than any there is an appetite for levity and frivolity and the Jubilee is the perfect occasion for brands to have some fun.”
Here’s a round-up of the brands doffing their caps to Her Majesty: