Posts by Sarah Doery - London

The U.K. gets a very British boost

There’s a bumper few weeks coming up for Britons, with bank holidays, the Easter break and a bonus day off for the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. After a hard winter and amid a tough economic environment, this seems to have boosted not only the country’s morale but also local businesses, particularly those in the craft sector. Small businesses are aiming to cash in on the royal nuptials, producing all manner of souvenirs and commemorative merchandise, from Union Jack teapots to Will & Kate calendars and gift cards to tongue-in-cheek royal tea bag holders. And the patriotic feeling among consumers is helping us stay positive and keep purchasing!

It’s not just small businesses getting in on the act: Big British brands are emphasizing the need to indulge in a party and backing their great British products. Morrisons, a supermarket chain, has really brought this to life in its latest TV campaign, and brought the nation along with them. “We could do with a bit of fun,” says cricketing star Freddie Flintoff as he leads a group of kids to the store, where they laud U.K. products.

Let’s hope that in 12 months’ time, the London Olympics can give us another boost. Will we all be flying our flags, eating Union Jack cupcakes and getting behind our athletes? It seems Morrisons could have more than just a temporary spike if this feeling continues into 2012. So it won’t be just us smiling, but their management too.

Kit Kat tells Brits to revel in the simple pleasure of a break

Let’s face it, times have been tough in the U.K., with decreasing property values, pay freezes, an increase in VAT and general belt-tightening all round. We’re no longer trying to upgrade to a bigger house or flashier car but rather enjoying what we’ve got. Home makeover shows replace property searches and cookery shows instruct on creative cuisine with your leftovers. The focus is on simple pleasures—for example, in a JWT London survey that asked people what makes them happy, time with loved ones topped the list (“family” and “friends” ranked No. 1 and No. 2; “money” ranked 10th).

In a new Kit Kat campaign from JWT London, the brand celebrates simple pleasures, encouraging people to come together and “make the most of your break.” In one spot, a group of construction workers snack on Kit Kats as they create a giant swinging pendulum out of wrecking cranes, adding a wee bit of whimsy to their day.

This is a shift from the previous brand positioning for Kit Kat, calling for consumers to “have a break”, to stop, sit back and relax. And this renewed call for a bit of fun should go down well with British consumers post-recession.