The Winners and Losers of the #RoyalBaby Hashtag

I love a Royal event, I do.

I’m not a monarchist exactly, but I’m a sucker for anything Kate Middleton and I especially enjoy watching how brands worldwide try to leverage the social media buzz, while simultaneously cringing as the poor reporters outside the hospital grasp at straws for talking points while the Duchess gets the job done.

I blogged about the good and bad hijacking when the news was announced last year, and we also saw some great attempts (and some not so great) when now-big-brother Prince George was born.

Yet-to-be-named Little Sister hasn’t achieved quite the same level of frenzied promotion - I guess second born heirs never do - but there have still been some great Tweets to enjoy…

Cadbury’s chocolate pram was a decent attempt, relevant to their product, fun, and visual, which the media love:

Likewise, LEGO used their product, brand personality and strong visual content well:

Food and drink companies like Coca-Cola and M&S used the Family of Four theme to a decent extent, showcasing their products:

While UK airline British Airways used both visual and play-on-words to great effect, gaining over 1,000 ReTweets in 12 hours:

Equally Ryanair jumped in, but pushed more of a sales/comedic message in line with their brand persona:

The only other brand that properly seemed to link the news authentically to their own promotion, in my opinion, was online retailer Not On The High Street:

The supermarkets also wanted a piece of the pie, and while Lidl opted for tongue-in-cheek practicality:

Tesco won the day, in my opinion, with a clever play on the baby name guessing game:

Patriotic images from brands who can leverage vast scales proved popular, including the BT Tower message:

And the City of London’s lighting of the famous Tower Bridge landmark in pink:

It can be a balancing act for charities to utilise this kind of online conversation, but I thought ActionAid UK did it very well:

Although the stand-out winner for me was the Kensington Palace Twitter account managers themselves.

Not because it was groundbreaking or particularly creative, but because they have much stricter guidelines within which to convey personality, and yet the simple creation of an emotive hashtag with an air of warmth and modernity was enough to earn them high praise (in the form of 28,000 ReTweets):

Although, the Navy came a close second for me with a very heartfelt, visually-striking, service-representative tweet:

LOCALLY, I did enjoy the Ulster Weavers media story earlier in the week which showcased their product while explaining the time and skill that goes into it, creating more of a story than just a simple “we’re preparing with the country” message:

And the losers?

Well, there haven’t been any disasters really, suggesting that a lot of brands learned from irrelevant, impolite and downright silly newsjacking back in September when the pregnancy was announced.

To me, the only real losers are those who feel they have to mark the event (as most notable online brands do, to be fair to them) but can’t find the right balance of tone or can’t fully integrate the message into their product/service offering or, if I’m feeling less empathetic, are just plain lazy about their offering.

Typical “anything pink” tweets…

… generic promotions…

…bland announcements…

…so loose-a-link we’re a bit confused tweets…

…and non-event-specific tie-ins spring to mind…

Overall, well done all.

We survived another global news story without a Community Manager losing their job or the general public losing their sanity.