Crossrail rebrands to the Elizabeth Line: PR and public reactions

Europe's largest construction project, a new cross-London train line that will open in 2018, has officially been renamed in honour of Queen Elizabeth.

The rebrand was announced by Transport for London at Bond Street Station, where the Queen was presented with a commemorative Elizabeth roundel, and met those involved in the construction of Crossrail.

TfL's PR team told PRWeek the idea was generated by the in-house marcoms and design teams with no external agency support. Discussions with Buckingham Palace took two years before the name was formally approved in September 2015.

Reaction to the name change was mixed, contrary to the recent Uber logo change, which was met with general negativity.

James Gordon-MacIntosh, managing partner at agency Hope&Glory, labelled the Elizabeth Line a stroke of genius.

"The royal family is associated in a meaningful way with one of the biggest engineering projects the capital will see for some time. It becomes a lasting legacy for Her Majesty the Queen in her 90th year and as she has become the country’s longest reigning monarch. Meanwhile, a train line has just gained iconic status overnight and on a global scale," he told PRWeek.

"What’s more, the media handling of the launch has done a fine job. You couldn’t fail to get coverage for this story. What the team behind it has done, though, is use the news as a hook to deliver the commercial and consumer messages about where the line runs and just how frequently it will do so."

Reaction was also positive outside of London. Adele Wilson, head of strategic planning at Manchester agency Tangerine, said: "The renaming of the Crossrail project as the Elizabeth Line seems a natural and fitting tribute to Britain’s longest reigning monarch. Whether or not Londoners will abbreviate the name, ‘the Liz Line’ perhaps, remains to be seen."

Other PRs, politicians, journalists and public bodies commented on Twitter:

Other reactions were more light-hearted:

What do you think is the best name for the line?

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