Analysis

Long Live the Prince

Carly Spencer

Last month, ENGINE MHP launched a pro bono campaign on behalf of the Kiyan Prince Foundation, Long Live the Prince, to mark what would have been Kiyan’s 30th birthday.

Created to inspire young people to be the best version of themselves and drive donations for the Foundation, the Brand and Reputation team at MHP leapt to the challenge of getting coverage for the campaign across all major media outlets. And the results are extraordinary – 915 pieces of international coverage, including every UK national besides the FT, 50 interviews secured for the campaign spokespeople and heaps of prime time broadcast, including a 12 minute segment on BBC Breakfast. Following wall-to-wall coverage on launch day, twice as many people searched Kiyan’s name on Google last month than when he died, driving valuable supporters to the Foundation website.

Brand and Reputation team member Carly Spencer shares her experience of working on Long Live the Prince here:

We all have memories that last a lifetime, and working on the Kiyan Prince Foundation’s Long Live the Prince campaign certainly fits that bill for me. Over a year in the making, it was a One-Engine campaign that saw many of agency’s disciplines work together, and the result was something special.

In 2006 Kiyan Prince was tragically murdered outside of his school while trying to break up a fight. 15 years later Long Live the Prince campaign brought him back to life as the professional footballer he was destined to be, while celebrating the incredible person he was.

There is a lot to be taken from the story of Kiyan’s life, but what’s so electric about the campaign is its universality – the narrative of unity, destiny and sportsmanship can speak to and inspire everyone at some level. Yet there is one message above all else that should always be remembered from the campaign: we all have stories to tell, unique routes to take, and dreams to follow.

I think we’re all brought up to believe in our dreams and that if we put our minds to it we can be anything we want to be. But working with the Kiyan Prince Foundation has reminded me is that no matter what your ‘thing’ might be, becoming your somebody is everlasting. Hearing his father Mark speak about his dedication to supporting young people at risk of knife crime and violence is something to be admired in abundance.

The Kiyan Prince Foundation not only touches on the tenderness of the Black experience across the UK, but it also echoes volumes about the chances we all get in life – no matter if they are missed or caught.

The Long Live the Prince story was more than just a campaign; it was a moment of integrity, ambition, and alliance that will have a lasting effect.