We have talked about how three’s a magic number previously in The Juice. It appears everywhere, including, I would argue, the communication strategising for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations. In a nutshell, the planning goes like this:
Day 1. Give them a spectacular show – to create a sense of awe and remind everyone of the power of majesty. This was done with the usual British sense of whimsy with the great Jubilee Thames River Pageant. Only the weather couldn’t be controlled.
Day 2. Give them a party – the centrepiece was the pop concert outside Buckingham Palace. Populist and fun. The Queen gets down with the masses, and even allows comedians to tell a few jokes at her expense.
Day 3. Give the big message – the Queen is in charge and has God on her side. So we get the trip to St Paul’s Cathedral followed by the procession back through London to allow the masses to see their leader, blessed by the deity.
Days 1 and 2 prepare the population for Day 3. First impress them, then give them lots fun, then they will agree that you are still in charge and have the right to be.
All three days were shot through with military pomp. That is the ultimate power imagery. Sounds trite (I do hope I’m not locked in the Tower) but it’s a trick that’s been used many times in the past.
Roman Emperors used to return from biffing their opponents by parading their army through Rome, then giving the citizens several days off the go to the games at which, in the finale, he would slaughter all his still living enemies to remind everyone who’s in charge.
The corporate world use the 1,2,3 knockout in a similar way. 1. Establish a burning platform to get people’s attention, 2. Engage staff in conversation and ask their ideas to obtain their buy-in then 3. Tell them what needs to be done (often something that senior management wanted to do in the first place).
The Queen is an impressive individual who obviously cares about her public duty. Most British people also hugely respect her, support the Monarchy and loved the occasion.
But there is no doubt the Diamond Jubilee celebrations amounted to a carefully organised communication exercise to manipulate and set public opinion for the next 10 years and beyond.
There has already been a lot of comment about the slimmed down Monarchy ‘top team’ that appeared on the balcony of Buckingham Palace. And many noticed the picture of William and Kate promenantly displayed behind the Queen during her Jubilee TV message.
Time will tell, whether this exercise in brand positioning will succeed.