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Sizing up opportunities

How the UK is celebrating The Coronation and Eurovision

This May we saw two consecutive big weekend events in the UK. Two very different events, but both presenting opportunities for brands, retailers, and hospitality to take advantage. How did shoppers intend to celebrate, and how can brands leverage these types of occasions?

Carina Ealam Senior Executive 27/04/2023
Sainsbury’s research suggests more than half of its shoppers were planning to celebrate the Coronation with afternoon tea or by throwing a party at home.

It’s easy to see how brands have decided to take advantage of the events such as the Coronation: Sainsburys and M&S are promoting a Coronation clothing range, alongside special food, commemorative gifts and homewares. You’ll also find decorations and partywares in places like Hobbycraft, Lakeland and TK Maxx.

Meanwhile, Marmite are claiming that their spread is ‘the only way to toast’, Pimm’s have released a limited-edition bottle and Walkers Sensations have two new limited-edition flavours.

According to data from Savanta’s weekly Omnibus Survey, 41% of the UK planned to watch the Coronation live on TV and, of those watching, 82% planned to watch at home; 10% at a pub, bar or big screen location; and 8% at a street party – with 18-26s much more likely to be out in a public place.

A dedicated section in-store filled with Coronation-themed products will likely encourage shoppers to buy from you in the run up.

Among those who planned to watch, 26% said they will buy general party food and 27% will buy alcohol, with 14% specifically claiming they will buy some kind of fizz.

Afternoon tea is also a popular choice with 26% saying they will buy food / drinks for afternoon tea, and 13% planning to buy Coronation related food (e.g. biscuits and cupcakes).

Our data shows occasion-based marketing will make a difference, so brands are right to invest.

Special offers on Coronation party items and special sections in-store with themed products likely encouraged consumers to buy products in the run up (15% and 11% respectively) to the event. 10% could be tempted by Coronation-themed ads, while 15% of those aged 18-26 look for recommendations from influencers and celebrities.

In 2022 8.9 million people watched Eurovision in the UK, with the final being held in Liverpool the opportunity for brands this year was huge.

Eurovision is watched in over 34 markets, meaning the opportunity for global brands is multiplied.

Although not as popular as the Coronation, 28% of the UK planned to watch the final, and this figure was even higher (33%) for those closer to the action in the Northwest.

Of those planning to watch, 71% said they would be watching at home, while 18% will be in a public place, such as a fan zone or at the pub (23% in the Northwest), showing the opportunities that exist both on and off trade.

But where are the opportunities?

Of those watching, 30% planned to hold or attend a Eurovision party – these kinds of parties tend to include continental foods, which 13% have said they will be consuming which includes lots of cheese!

This might be why Philadelphia are giving away VIP tickets in a promotion on their pack.

General party food (27%) and decorations (12%) will also be on the shopping list of Eurovision fans.

Yet, the song contest seems to be slightly overlooked by brands. Of course, the event was slightly overshadowed by the Coronation, but will retailers and brands turn blue and yellow mid-May to leverage the more niche, but often passionate, audience of Eurovision fans by launching or repackaging Eurovision-themes products and creating dedicated point of sale material?

We aren’t suggesting that you start planning for the next UK-based Eurovision just yet, or the next Coronation… but have you considered which other occasions you could own?

As consumers increasingly look for authenticity, occasion-based marketing provides a great opportunity to connect with your core audience on a more personal level, and impact all levels of the brand funnel positively.

But selecting the right occasion is critical. It needs to be both relevant to your target audience and fit your brand to feel authentic.

At Savanta, we inform and inspire clients to design and implement successful occasion-based marketing campaigns:

  • Exploring and selecting the right occasions for your brand to focus on , based on relevance with existing and target audiences, brand fit and size of the opportunity.
  • Identifying NPD opportunities by understanding needs and expectations around the occasion.
  • Informing communications and activation strategies by exploring attitudes to the occasion and brand relevance and fit.

Contact us at [email protected] to find out how Savanta’s Consumer shopper team can help you plan how to take advantage of yearly calendar events, plus those unique one-off occasions, or find out more about our Consumer team here.

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