The fast approaching celebratory summer of British sport and royalty presents a number of challenges for consumer brand PR. If you’re going to be part of the Jubilee, how do you stand out from the countless other brands latching themselves onto the occasion? If you want to associate yourself with the Olympics and you’re not an official sponsor, how do you hope to navigate around the brand police? If you intend to avoid affiliation with either, do you really think the media will be writing about anything else this Summer?!
We’ve got a bit of ‘prior’ on capitalising on Monarchical happenings through our work with Yahoo! for the marital bonding of Kate and Wills. With The People’s Royal Wedding Album, a campaign we launched looking for people’s photos of what they were really doing for the Royal Wedding, we managed to achieve cut through. As a consumer engagement campaign, we were able to build user content which was of interest to media as an alternative view to the over exposed official images. And we’re currently working that magic again with Schweppes, a brand that has a natural affinity with both Royalty and celebrating, through our Social Monarchs campaign. Schweppes are searching the nation for social monarchs – those people who are kings and queens of their social scene, who love to entertain and know how to host a proper Jubilee party.
The Olympics are a considerably more difficult event to traverse. Even if you are an official sponsor we suspect that the tight regulations around social media usage may make it tough, and actions will need to be taken in order to prevent a backlash. Influential Guardian columnist Charlie Brooker announced his own ‘official’ Olympic sponsors to his army of 500,000+ Twitter followers. As for non-official attempts at Olympic affiliation, unlike the World Cup in 2010 we don’t expect to see any ‘guerilla’ PR stunt attempts as the restrictions are so stringent, and attempting to play within the rules would just land you with activity that would be either too far removed from the event or too bland to gain traction.
Ignoring the events altogether is your other option, and we do have some client campaigns in the pipeline which have absolutely nothing to do with sport or royalty. The question of whether media will be writing about anything other than the Olympics, the Queen or perhaps the UEFA European Championship is not set in stone as journalists do not know themselves what stories may come out of these events. One thing is for sure, if you want your brand to get consumer cut through this summer, whether you’re planning on anything Olympic or Jubilee related or not, your story better be compelling and engaging to media and consumers.