Fashion Rules

We got The Call a couple of months ago. “How would you like to create an ad campaign for a new long-term exhibition at Kensington Palace?”, said the Senior Marketing Manager from Historic Royal Palaces. “The exhibition’s going to feature dresses from Princess Margaret, Princess Diana and the Queen. It’ll be big, a proper blockbuster, with a media plan to match. We’ve booked outdoor sites across the London Underground and press advertising in everything from Grazia to The Guardian”. As phone calls go, this was a good one.

So began the development of our latest advertising campaign for a long running client, Historic Royal Palaces. Fashion Rules is an exhibition featuring the dresses and fashions of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Princess Margaret and Diana Princess of Wales. It looks at the influences the royals had on style and culture (and vice versa) in the second half of the twentieth century .

Our instinct right from the start was to keep the advertising simple. With such iconic figures involved we needed to ensure the focus remained on them and was not diluted by trying to communicate too much about the exhibition in the advertising. This has been achieved mainly thanks to the powerfully arresting quality of the photography from twentieth century heavyweights William Hustler, Lord Snowdon and David Bailey.

Rather than try to incorporate all three figures together, the portraits have been used individually. But as the ads will often appear individually, the consistent black and white imagery and the vertical typography serve to tie the three together.

The press campaign goes live today, with the outdoor following next week.

Fashion Rules at Kensington Palace opens 4 July. Visit hrp.org.uk to find out more.