EE will have a bit part in dramas yet to play out on Coronation Street with the creation of a mock store on Weatherfield’s cobbled high street.
The telecoms firm has signed on the dotted line as an official connectivity partner for the show, granting it privileges such as the integration of EE employees and shopping bags into the daily disputes within the fictitious northern England community.
Eagle-eyed viewers will be treated to the site of EE-branded olive and yellow hoarding as the new store is fitted out ahead of its grand unveiling later in the year, in the hope of subtly influencing real-world shopping trips.
Mark Trinder, director of commercial sales and partnerships at ITV, said: “The shopfronts in Coronation Street are the pinnacle of product placement on British TV and I’m thrilled to have EE’s newest retail store on the cobbles. While we can’t see the full shopfront on-screen just yet, the team are working hard to build it for the ‘opening’ later this year.”
Pete Jeavons, marketing communications director at EE, said: “Our retail stores are recognizable on high streets and in communities across the country, offering personal, local service and the best possible customer experience. In fact, 95% of the population is within a 20-minute drive of an EE store. So, it’s with great pleasure that we announce our latest store opening, this time at the heart of one of the most iconic communities on TV – Coronation Street.”
Product placement has been permitted in the UK since 2011, with ITV embracing the revenue stream as a way to cash in on its properties in a more subtle manner than traditional advertising – although this hasn’t always gone according to plan.
Coronation Street has demonstrated remarkable staying power since debuting on TV screens an incredible 61 years ago, making it the longest-running television soap opera, as well as the most-watched in the country.
EE is no stranger to the most prized address on British TV, having previously dispatched a bemused Kevin Bacon to sup a pint with show regular Ken Barlow in The Rovers Return.