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As the year draws to a close, 2019 has seen some well-known British brands celebrate anniversaries and centenaries. Two of Britain’s largest supermarkets, Tesco and Sainsbury’s celebrated their 100 and 150 year anniversaries respectively, while airline British Airways also celebrated its 100th year of trading. Camelot, which owns The National Lottery and EuroMillions, also celebrated its 25th birthday.

All four brands released commemorative adverts alongside other promotions, such as Tesco’s “100 years of great value” price cuts and EuroMillions pledge to make 25 millionaires on October 25th.

New YouGov data demonstrates that anniversaries like these can lead to a positive boost for customer brand perception, as long as there are no other negative events overshadowing the celebrations. 

Over 2019, Ad Awareness scores (whether someone has seen or heard an advert broadcast by a company in the past two weeks) for Sainsbury’s increased by 3.1 points from Q1 to Q4, Tesco by 4 points, The National Lottery by 4.3 points and EuroMillions by 3.4 points demonstrating the impact that celebratory adverts can have on the British public.

However, the centenary of British Airways was overshadowed by this summer’s pilot strikes that led to many missed flights and cancelled holidays for customers. This meant their advert had a markedly lower impact, demonstrated by their declining Ad Awareness score over the year (-7.5 points).

Similarly, Buzz scores (a net measure of whether consumers have heard anything positive or negative about the brand in the last fortnight) over the year also demonstrate the positive impact of celebrating a brands’ heritage. Sainsbury’s Buzz scores increased by 5.6 points, Tesco by 3.3 and The National Lottery and Euromillions by 5 and 3 points respectively.

Impression scores (whether someone has a positive or negative impression of a brand) for these four brands also increased over the year, with both Camelot brands increasing the most (Euromillions by 7.2 and The National Lottery by 8.5 points).

It’s clear from our data that anniversary celebrations are certainly something for marketing teams to consider when planning their yearly content. Not only can a brand’s awareness among the public increase but Brits also notice the positive buzz, and their impression of the brand also improves. However, a milestone celebration will only improve a brand’s perception if there is no other negative news – centenaries aren’t a public relations fix-all.

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This article previously appeared in City A.M.

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