The new Royal baby: A Marketing Game of Thrones
By Laurna Woods
Monday, 04 September 2017
Another Royal Baby is on the way.
Whether you welcomed this news with a metaphorical wave of your Union Jack, or cynically watched it unfold with a rolling of the eyes, there’s no denying that marketers across the globe will be preparing their brand’s reaction to the imminent arrival of a new British heir to the throne.
When Kate Middleton gave birth to Prince George in 2013, and then Princess Charlotte in 2015, the media was swarmed with ads and content focused on the newest member of the Royal Family.
Brands indulge in real-time marketing on social media to show their human side and make an emotional connection with customers. It’s a way to make the market think more deeply about the brand – and place products or services front of mind while people are focused on a major news story.
Preparation is key and, in the same way major events such as Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day will be pencilled into the calendar, the imminent arrival of this bundle of joy sometime next Spring will no doubt be noted and considered well in advance.
Content will need to be prepared for both a boy and a girl, and marketers will most likely be thinking of angles around a third child in a family, or the dynamics of going from a household of four to five. There could even be some mileage in Princess Charlotte going from the youngest to the middle child in her family.
But should every brand be doing it?
This is a decision which should be carefully considered, based on the ethos of an individual company and the market it serves.
You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but does the arrival of a famous baby resonate with customers? Does the product fit with that type of news – or would it be distasteful? Think about how a Royal Baby fits into your brand strategy.
If there is any uncertainty, it’s better to stay quiet on the subject, to avoid alienating your target audience.
Here are some interesting examples of how marketers have done it before, to celebrate the arrival of George and Charlotte.
This one speaks for itself. Sometimes the simplest approach is best. A quintessentially British company making an announcement of the arrival of a new Princess.
A company known for its British roots, or for appealing to the family market, is a natural fit for this kind of real-time marketing.
One of the best brand responses came from Playdoh (notice the gender neutral colours of the baby blanket!)
While having a baby involves a lot of bottom wiping, this next one received a mixed response - with many saying it was in poor taste.
I can't help thinking that, with a cute and cuddly bear for a mascot, Charmin could have done something a little gentler to welcome Prince George into the world.
The subtlety of this image from Johnson's Baby - coupled with the message that every baby should be treated like royalty - won this brand a lot of praise.
It cleverly appealed to the Royalists, as well as those parents who felt the Royal baby was no more special than their own child.
A very skillful message, designed to ensure no parent was alienated from the message.
Another brand which took a clever angle was Hostess Snacks, whose tongue-in-cheek approach managed to avoid offering any congratulations to the Royal couple, while piggy-backing on the news of their new arrival.
But if blatantly advertising your brand on the back of a royal birth is not for you, it's always possible to be part of the conversation.
Simple... but oh, so effective.
To discover how your brand can utilise PR and marketing to become a relevant part of the conversation, contact us on 0800 612 9890.