“X Marks The Spot” is our bi-weekly deep dive introducing you to the people, processes, and inspiration behind the most impactful brand x brand collabs in the world. This week we take a timely look at Coronation Collabs.
The British Royal Family (or the “Firm” as it's known to insiders) has been valued at over $70 bn as a brand making it the 7th most valuable brand in the world. And although that pales beside Amazon’s $260 bn brand value, the Coronation is undoubtedly the most prime of Prime days.
Making it a twice-in-a-lifetime opportunity for brands ready to leverage it.
And some of the best-loved heritage brands didn’t miss an opportunity more than a thousand years in the making.
Here’s a selection of the very best, with quick takeaways you can use to crown your brand’s next collab.
Pure Genius. Although it’s a spoof ad I’ve included it here as it makes sense of a consistent brand platform that has been built by Guinness over decades. The ‘Good things come to those who wait’ line is both synonymous with Guinness and King Charles, who has spent a lifetime waiting to be crowned. The archetypical example of how a good collab makes more sense of the brand, not less.
The Most Poignant. A Royal event isn’t a Royal event without its fair share of “cheap tat,” aka memorabilia. The Alzheimer’s Society didn’t miss the opportunity to note that one in three people born today will develop dementia in their lifetime and likely won’t remember it at all. Collabs use built-in understandings and givens (in this case, memorabilia) to create a cognitive dissonance that the audience has to resolve. On the far side of that resolution is a new understanding and attachment to the brand.
Most Clever. Leaning on its 66-year-old "Have a break, Have KitKat" slogan, KitKat makes a nod to the extra public holiday Brits got to mark the Coronation…and the fact that Charles is the “Third.” Visually showing their story, not simply telling it.
The Funniest. The London Dungeon and sexual health charity Brook teamed up to educate men, in particular, to “protect their own crown jewels.” Promoting access to sexual health advice. A continuation of an established partnership aimed at bringing sexual health out of the “dark ages” like all good collabs, this campaign makes sense in light of what has come before. Pursued strategically collabs make sense of each other.
The Most British
If an Englishman’s home is his castle, then the toilet is his “throne.” VictorianPlumbing.co.uk, a UK online retailer of all things plumbing, couldn’t miss the opportunity of some classic British toilet humor to create a toilet seat “fit for a king.” A limited edition product collab that is sure to garner outsize attention and become a collector's item. And eye-catching enough to ensure that the seat will always be left down.
Collabs are an exceptional lens through which to view your brand and express multiple sides of your it’s personality.
Creating impact by ‘showing’ your brand story rather than telling it. Making it easy for customers to make sense of who you are and what you do. Rather than wedging themselves into the Coronation these brands leant on their own heritage to make sense of themselves through its unique lens.
Want to be ready for next time?
Basic math tells us we won’t be waiting 70 years for the next coronation…so the time to start preparing is now. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll be in touch to get you ready in good time. For next time.