CorpComms Awards

Best low budget campaign

Winner 2021
Space Oddity
Royal Mint
Agency: Hope & Glory

In 2020, the Royal Mint launched its new brand positioning, its first in more than 1,000 years, as The Original Maker. As society moves away from cash transaction, it is an attempt by the organisation to be associated with more than just coinage – which it has been producing since 886AD – but to be known for its premium products and bespoke collections.

Agency Hope & Glory was tasked with promoting Royal Mint’s coin collections, taking them from traditional numismatic publications to mainstream media, to drive sales among existing collectors and a new audience of potential future collectors.

Using the Music Legends series to launch the new approach, Hope & Glory seized on the third coin released by the collection – David Bowie – to make a splash. The Royal Mint knew that some existing collectors would be attracted to the limited series, but they recognised that Bowie fans might also be keen to own the coin.

Given Bowie’s link with celestial beings, Hope & Glory decided to capture the journey of the first coin to ever travel to space and so Space Oddity was born.

Working with Sent to Space to capture the visuals, the Bowie coin was released on a Helium-filled balloon to travel 35,656 metres and orbited the earth’s atmosphere for 45 minutes before descending back to its launch base in Sheffield.

A video recorded the coin’s ascent and its journey in lower atmosphere, along with static images capturing its space positioning, which were used for broadcast media and Royal Mint’s own social media channels. (The intrepid coin was later offered as a competition prize for David Bowie fans on Royal Mint’s Facebook channel, attracting more than 35,000 entries.)

Prior to launch, Hope & Glory had contacted DJs working across the BBC’s national radio stations, including Greg James and Lauren Laverne, to discuss the unique space trip. Each one requested a coin and then talked about the voyage on their shows, leading to mentions across BBC Radio 6 music, BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2 and also morning television shows, such as Lorraine.

On the day the coin went on sale, the story of its unique space journey was picked up by national and online media, leading to 24 articles, including half-page features in The Times and Daily Telegraph. There were also more than 150 pieces of regional coverage across online and print, which is an important outlet for Royal Mint, as its core audience is known to be heavy consumers of regional media.

The music media also loved the campaign, and the Royal Mint found itself mentioned in articles across Unilad, Line of Best Fit, Uncut, NME, Billboard and more than a dozen other titles, often for the first time. And the story’s appeal was not limited to the British Isles; there were another 711 articles across 70 countries.

But importantly, 15 per cent of the coverage was in media outlets in which the Royal Mint had never previously appeared – which was critical to reach and engage a new audience. And 98 per cent of all articles provided information on how to purchase the limited-edition coins, which swiftly sold out. A large proportion of purchasers had never bought coins from Royal Mint before.

Post campaign analysis revealed that 67 per cent of the UK population were aware that a new coin featuring David Bowie had been launched, while 65 per cent recalled seeing the space imagery. Of these, 17 per cent had never previously interacted with Royal Mint.