UK Communications Campaign for the New 12-sided £1 Coin

Product Owner: The Royal Mint

Date of the Communication Launch



As outlined above the object of the campaign – the new £1 coin – was unique.

The campaign made the innovative and unique new £1 coin the centre of the creative. The new coin has 12 sides and contains a range of hidden and visible security features, including a High Security Feature, which make it the most secure circulating coin in the world. These features are promoted through the public and business communications.

Because of the scale of the communications and the small budget, the focus of the campaign was on shareable and downloadable unique assets that could also be used by the range of stakeholders. We needed them to use these assets to engage with their staff, customers and, in the case of the many and varied associations we consulted with e.g. Bingo Association, British Parking Association, Beer and Pub Association, their members.

Historical or Local Content

The introduction of the new 12-sided £1 coin was an historic and momentous event – the first time the UK £1 coin had been replaced in 34 years. The round £1 coin is being replaced because of its vulnerability to sophisticated counterfeiters. Via conducting regular surveys, The Royal Mint knows that approximately one in thirty round £1 coins in circulation is a counterfeit.

The communications campaign was designed to both celebrate the occasion and educate UK consumer and business audiences about how the introduction of a new coin might affect them, the benefits of the new £1 coin and what action they would need to take to prepare.

Feedback from Stakeholders, Including the General Public

Following the launch of the campaign, a public survey (YouGov, April 2017) indicated 94% public approval of the new £1 coin with 94% aware of at least one key feature of the new £1 coin. The message on counterfeiting had also come across strongly, with 91% of the general public aware of the reasons for the new coin.

Ongoing liaison and communication with business was beneficial in that at launch, companies in the key sectors agreed to provide quotes to support industry readiness communications for the new £1 coin. When key stakeholders were asked if they were getting the right level of information from The Royal Mint (in the Industry Survey prior to launch), 90% said ‘yes they were’.


The campaign creative reflects the branding and colour palette of The Royal Mint. The coin is at the centre of all the creative. The creative was produced by a creative agency and the style of the business and public campaigns was purposefully similar in order that they would reinforce each other.

The same creative is used across all the collateral including, leaflets, posters, videos, e-shots, webinar, social media and event assets.

The campaign collateral is downloadable via the website so that it can be easily used and shared by the UK public and businesses. Also core to the campaign was PR and social media, including business case studies again, so that they could easily be shared by stakeholders.

A Communications Working Group with representatives from across the key sectors and Her Majesty’s Treasury was used to consult on the design and provide feedback on the creative messages used.

Ease of Understanding

The public campaign was developed to tap into the natural curiosity and excitement that the launch of a new coin brings. Creative social and PR tactics were used with the focus on coin images and key dates. Where text was used to describe coin features they were always used with images of the coin to ensure there was clarity for the reader.

In addition to generating awareness, the aim was to encourage businesses to plan early to upgrade their equipment, inform their staff and make arrangements for the co-circulation period. Business campaign messaging and copy is simple “Is your Business Ready?” This was developed following consultation with industry stakeholders who wanted the messaging to be clear and direct.

Welsh language versions of the poster and leaflets were made in order that organisations in Wales could use them should they chose to.

Ease of Navigation, if applicable

The was developed as one web page to minimise the level of navigation required and to reinforce the key messages:

  • why the new £1 coin was introduced;
  • the features of the coin;
  • what businesses need to do to prepare for the new coin;
  • Frequently Asked Questions; and
  • downloadable resources.

The website was also the mechanism for both the UK public and businesses to ask questions about the new £1 coin.

Across the range of collateral, messages have been simple and consistently reinforced, and this was also reflected on the website. The website address has the most up to date information about the new £1 coin and is referred to across all the other campaign collateral.

Effectiveness of Messages and Communications

Public campaign outcomes:

  • a week before launch over 1,400 pieces of coverage had been achieved including every UK national daily publication and pieces in the UK’s Match of the Day and The One Show. On the two days of launch (27/28 March 2017) another 1,500 pieces of coverage were secured;
  • on launch day, over 740,000 social engagements were achieved and the campaign reached over 652million people;
  • following launch (Apr-17), a public survey showed 97% public awareness of the new £1 coin;
  • there have been over 700,000 visits to the website (Google Analytics) and 1.7million video views.

Business campaign outcomes:

  • business awareness was high with 76% of key titles covering the story and 80% business awareness;
  • key business stakeholders indicated 85% equipment readiness for the new £1 coin;
  • there have been 44,356 downloads of the campaign collateral and over 0.5million pieces of literature distributed.
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Awards | Coin Awards 2017


Best New Communications Award