OPINION: Jubilee's pageantry can't cover up realities of the Palace brand

Until a month or so there was really no doubt about the marketing campaign of the year - even though it wasn't clear who exactly was responsible.

But somebody with real imagination and talent took a really tired brand that had somehow managed to attract both indifference and opprobrium in equal measure and breathed new life into it.

Millions upon millions of rather sceptical consumers were persuaded to buy into the Monarchy and the Jubilee by the power of the visual images.

Never mind the talk about fragmentation of audiences, this was a triumph for TV, and neither online, outdoor nor direct mail had much to do with it, although personal appearances clearly helped.

Alongside the unexpected success of the work on the main brand, those involved did not allow themselves to be deflected from the more subtle repositioning of Camilla Parker-Bowles. With infinite patience the lady was gradually eased out of the closet and became almost acceptable.

It proved that with the right team you really could manage two very different paced campaigns at once. If only the awards ceremony had come early there would have been no contest. But with the help of a butler, a botched prosecution and the vagaries of Royal memory, it's as if the Jubilee had never been.

Instead of marketing expertise, the Monarchy desperately needs crisis management of the sort only a Max Clifford can provide.

If ever a story is running out of control, with unforeseeable consequences, it is this one. If only Paul Burrell had listened to Clifford's advice, then at least damage limitation would have been possible. Clifford accurately predicted what would happen - sign an exclusive deal with one newspaper and all the other spurned titles will climb over each other in the search of revenge. The resulting feeding frenzy has been terrible to see and has still got a long way to run.

Once the Palace servants are allowed above stairs to sign exclusive deals with newspapers and television channels almost anything can happen. Never mind the allegations of homosexual rape, what are we to make of the claims by The Mail on Sunday that it has another story of "an incident involving a member of the Royal family and a Palace servant"?

The allegation is so grave that disclosure would inflict irreparable damage on the Monarchy, the paper claims coyly, while blaming legal reasons for the lack of names.

At the very least the Queen's Christmas broadcast this year should be one for the connoisseurs - both for what is said and what is not said.

The events of the year prove, if any proof were needed, that the truth of the brand will be outed in the end. You can package and sell a strange brand such as the Monarchy, but if the fantasy of happy families is not supported by reality it's only a matter of time before you have another horrible year on your hands.

Discussion

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Brand Republic Jobs

subscribe now

Latest

Lynx tells men not to leave love to fate
HBO captures awkwardness of watching sex scenes with parents
Primark to open first US stores with Boston chosen as flagship location
Marketing spend on the up but a reality check is needed before celebrating
Top 10 ads of the week: Jackpotjoy and BT Broadband fend off Kevin Bacon
Lidl beats Tesco to 10m Facebook fans
Center Parcs ad banned for encouraging parents to take kids out of school
Coca-Cola, Cadbury and Amazon named top brands for targeting youth market
Leaked document shows Nokia to be rebranded as Microsoft Mobile
Nike lays-off hardware staff in move that casts doubt on future of FuelBand
Greenpeace says save the bees or humans will die
What brands need to know about changes to VAT and online downloads in 2015
Jimmy Savile victims urged to claim compensation in new ad campaign
UKIP launches biggest  ad campaign and stirs up 'racist' accusations
Apple boss Tim Cook provides voiceover on ad touting firm's renewed green commitments
John Lewis walks consumers through its history to celebrate 150 years of business
Waitrose boosts content strategy with 'Weekend Kitchen with Waitrose' C4 tie-up
Hottest virals: Cute puppies star in Pedigree ad, plus Idris Elba and Fruyo
Amnesty International burns candles to illuminate new hope
Toyota achieves the impossible by calming angry Roman drivers
Tom of Finland's 'homoerotic' drawings made into stamps
YouTube reveals user habits to appeal to 'older' marketers
Ex-M&S marketing chief Steven Sharp consulting at WPP
Wolff Olins reveals new CEO after Apple poaches Karl Heiselman
Glasgow offers £30,000 prize to best digital idea for 2014 Commonwealth Games
Google's revenues surge but shares drop as it grapples with transition to mobile
Facebook beats Twitter to most 'marketing friendly' social media site crown, says DMA
Fableists believe children like Finn should be outdoors enjoying life
Homebase, Baileys and Camelot join the line-up at Media360
MasterCard renews Rugby World Cup sponsorship to push cashless message