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Northern brands mark Corrie's fiftieth.

Northern brands mark Corrie's fiftieth

Meat and potato pies, loaves of bread, pints of beer and mugs of tea are, for some people, almost as much a part of the north of England folklore as cloth caps, cobbled streets and factory chimneys. Now ITV Global Entertainment has signed up six 'much-loved family brands from the north of England' for a year of celebration to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the soap opera Coronation Street.

Holland's Pies, Warburtons Bread, JW Lees Brewery, Typhoo Tea, soap manufacturer Imperial Leather and furniture store Harvey's, official sponsor of Coronation Street, are teaming up for a range of promotions and events, culminating in the fiftieth anniversary edition of the programme. They will also incorporate Coronation Street branding on their packaging.

Neil Court-Johnston, Holland's Pies managing director, commented: 'Coronation Street and Holland's are the perfect match. We are both steeped in tradition, loved by millions and a core part of the region's identity. This year, more than any other, we want the people of the region to celebrate the things that are part of our DNA - not least, Corrie pies and puds.

In Marketing's February 2010 issue, Clark points out that ITV - which historically has not done much below-the-line marketing - has attempted to sign up products that have a clear fit with the programme and frame a campaign to encourage the partner brands' marketers to get together in joint marketing initiatives.

But how long after the final factory chimney has been felled, the last cobbled street resurfaced and the only remaining cloth cap discarded will these remain touchstones of the north of England for those Britons who rarely, if ever, travel north of Birmingham?

In the end, people's perceptions of a product, place or institution can be more enduring than the product, place or institution itself. Take the example of the police force. Modern policing is as much about DNA, databanks and CCTV as pounding the streets. Yet the friendly bobby on the beat - literally as well as metaphorically ready to give you the time of day - remains the abiding image of the police for many.

Those for whom policing is more Dixon of Dock Green than The Bill will be surprised to learn that UK police forces are applying a wide range of old and new media channels to marketing campaigns that aim to raise public confidence in their performance.

The reason, explains Jack, in Volume 33, Issue 7 of Marketing Week, is that the Government changed the measure of police performance to that of public confidence three years ago. Since then, the police have moved to viewing the public as 'customers' and come to regard marketing as key to achieving improved levels of public confidence.

On the basis that what gets measured gets done, it will surprise few to learn that the National Policing Improvement Agency reckons public confidence in the police has risen by 5% over 12 months - a decent bottom line for the thin blue line, but surely far too simple a way of assessing the overall effectiveness of policing in today's complex society.