Jubilee prize promotions: don’t make these five mistakes
I certainly wouldn’t describe myself as a monarchist, but hats off – or should that be crowns off? – to the Queen, because much as I love my job, I’m not sure I’d still want to be doing it after 70 years, which is what we’ll be celebrating come the first week of June.
In fact, the Queen is already the longest-serving monarch in British history – she passed that landmark on 6 February – but after the last couple of years no doubt we could all do with a four-day bank holiday weekend when the weather stands at least a reasonable chance of being nice (6 February is also the anniversary of her father’s death, so understandably not a date when she wants to have a big party).
What’s happening is that the usual May bank holiday has been moved to Thursday 2 June and then a special, one-off Platinum Jubilee bank holiday has been added on Friday 3 June. All the signs are that this is going to be big and so it could be the perfect occasion for a prize promotion.
Although unfortunately I’ve missed the deadline to get my entry in for the Platinum Pudding Competition being run by Fortnum & Mason and judged by Mary Berry, the Royal Mint’s promotion to win a £5 silver Platinum Jubilee coin is still open (closing date 7 March) and you still have plenty of time to set up your own prize promotion.
However, under the CAP Code there are some specific rules about how you can employ members of the royal family or royal occasions in your marketing promotions, so do take heed of the following. If you don’t, I imagine you might find yourself being hauled off to the Tower – or at least the subject of an ASA ruling!
Don’t mention her majesty
I appreciate that if you’re putting together a prize promotion for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, not talking about the monarch herself might seem a little tricky. However, it’s true that you can’t link your campaign to specific members of the royal family or royal occasions. If you get prior permission, that’s fine, but good luck with that! To be compliant you need to be clever, so think about theming your promotion along the lines of more generic royalty, royalists and royal celebrations.
Don’t reproduce her image
You need to avoid suggesting there’s an association between the Queen and your promotion, and if you can’t do it in words, you might think you can do it in pictures, but you can’t. Again, you need prior permission and it’s unlikely to be forthcoming, so it’s wise to come up with a creative way of subtly implying a connection instead. Red, white and blue bunting is always popular.
Don’t feature her arms
Her coat of arms, that is, because that might imply the Queen has personally approved your promotion. I know it would be a nice touch, but using the arms or emblems of Prince Charles, Prince William or other family members could be seen as an endorsement by them. Personally, I definitely wouldn’t use the arms of Prince Andrew either, but that’s for a different reason.
Don’t use a royal warrant
For the same reason – that it implies an endorsement – you can’t use a royal warrant if you’re not entitled to. A royal warrant allows a company to promote the fact that it supplies a particular product or service to the royal family. For example, Twinings is a tea and coffee merchant ‘by royal appointment’ to both the Queen and Prince Charles, which means it has the right to use the royal warrant on its packaging and communications, but most of us don’t.
Don’t let your souvenir prizes to mislead
If it’s a promotion to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee, you might decide to offer some specially designed souvenirs as prizes. Actually, it’s a nice idea. The Lord Chamberlain’s office, which is the arbiter of such matters, has issued specific guidelines on souvenir products, so you would do well to consult them. However, as long as you don’t imply a royal endorsement or that the prizes are official memorabilia, you should be safe.
Finally, this is the modern age and the royal family has its own Platinum Jubilee website, which pulls together details of all the centrally organised events. There’s also quite an interesting section on the history of royal jubilees, which includes remarkable if rather grainy footage from Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887.
At Prizeology we pride ourselves on producing highly professional prize promotions that are fit for a queen. However, we don’t stand on ceremony, so if you’d like our help just pick up the phone and call us on 020 7856 0402 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Burns is Prizeology’s Founder and Chief Prizeologist.
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