Consumers see brands ‘kingwashing’


Seven in 10 Britons think brand tributes and activity around the Coronation of King Charles are motivated by a desire to maintain a positive public image of themselves, rather than a sincere desire to pay respect to the new monarch.

That’s according to polling by YouGov, which surveyed 2,605 adults two days before the coronation is due to take place. 

Why it matters

It’s understandable that brands might feel the need to associate themselves with such an event and the celebrations around it, but the reality is that a sizeable chunk of the population doesn’t really care much about royalty and its flummery. Brand tributes could be as likely to annoy as enthuse among a cynical population, where a mere one in 10 (9%) thinks brands sincerely wish to pay respect to the King, but bored indifference is a more likely result. 

King vs Queen 

Consumers are generally underwhelmed by brand activity around royalty, and that sense seems to be increasing:

  • In September 2022, six in 10 (58%) Britons said they felt that brand tributes to the late Queen Elizabeth were motivated more by PR than a sincere desire to pay respect. 
  • Three in 10 Britons (28%) felt brands sincerely wanted to pay tribute to the late Queen.

Sourced from YouGov

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