Coronation Street’s Rovers Return pub to be sold by firm with NI roots
An online estate agency set up by two NI businessmen has been tasked with selling one of the most famous pubs in the world.
Purplebricks, which was set up in 2012 by Larne brothers Michael and Kenny Bruce, will feature in a storyline in Coronation Street as the Rovers Return goes up for sale.
Although the soap has featured product placements before this marks the first time that ITV has launched a short-term product placement partnership linked to a storyline.
The tech-led estate agent’s signage will appear on The Rovers Return this summer as Johnny puts the pub up for sale after realising his marriage to Jenny is over.
The Bruce brothers left Purplebricks in 2019 and have gone on to set up Agents Together.
Kenny, who received an MBE for helping to regenerate Larne FC with his millions, is also director of Boomin, a property portal set up by the brothers.
ITV’s Mark Trinder said: “We’ve successfully integrated product placements into our programmes for a number of years, and Coronation Street has been the most prominent example of this, bringing recognisable brands to viewers.
“This new partnership with Purplebricks gives us an opportunity to do something we’ve not done before with the agreement tying into one of our major storylines, working closely with the editorial and production teams.”
Iain MacLeod, Coronation Street series producer, said: “The upcoming story around the sale of the Rovers Return stems from something exciting that happens between Jenny and Johnny – but it also led to an exciting opportunity to team up with Purplebricks to sell the nation’s most iconic pub.
“The presence of a real Purplebricks sign outside adds a little bit of extra realism to a really relatable story between two of our best-loved characters.”
Ben Carter, chief marketing officer of Purplebricks, said: “We are delighted to work with Coronation Street to ‘sell’ a true British television icon like the Rovers Return.
It’s a fantastic opportunity for the Purplebricks brand to be seen by millions of TV viewers and we look forward to getting it ‘sold’ like we do for thousands of homes across the country every year.”
First broadcast in 1960, Coronation Street is the longest-running soap in the world and the most watched soap in Britain.
Product placement was introduced on television in the UK in 2011.
In the same year the first peak time product placement was introduced in Coronation Street and in 2018 ITV unveiled its biggest product placement on British TV with Costa Coffee and Co-op storefronts as part of the new extended Weatherfield set.
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