As the wedding for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle draws near, many brand managers are celebrating.
Though only 600 guests are invited inside of St. George’s Chapel to witness the wedding on Saturday, the ceremony and festivities will be broadcast around the world. ABC News reported that more than 2,000 people will watch the carriage procession outside the chapel and millions more will watch the event online or on TV.
Saturday is set to be the biggest TV day of the year with hundreds of millions expected to tune in around the world to watch Prince Harry marry Meghan Markle and Chelsea take on Manchester United in the FA Cup final.
Overseeing the footage of the wedding ceremony from St George’s chapel in Windsor will be the BBC’s ceremonial events editor, Claire Popplewell, along with Alison Kirkham, controller of factual commissioning, while later in the day football’s oldest domestic cup competition will be overseen by the director of BBC Sport, Barbara Slater.
Whether or not PR and marketing pros are interested in the royal wedding, many have used it to boost their brands and tout products.
Many organizations, both big and small, in the United Kingdom have launched contests and shown off preparations for the big day:
👰🤴 #COMPETITION TIME 👰🤴 It’s nearly time for the #RoyalWedding! To celebrate, we’re offering you the chance to #WIN a ROYAL hamper FULL of Betty Winters baking accessories! To enter, simply FOLLOW us and RETWEET this post! Competition ends 18:00 18/5/18 pic.twitter.com/U0tavFuTMH
— B&M Stores (@bmstores) May 16, 2018
— Bakewell Tart Shop (@tartshop) May 17, 2018
Lego also crafted a miniature version of Windsor Castle out of its iconic bricks and added it to its Windsor Resort attraction:
It’s not just UK organizations that have thrown their hats into the ring, however.
PR and marketing pros based in the United States have not previously shied away from royal weddings, but Prince Harry’s marriage to an American presents an increased opportunity for brand managers to make a mark.
KFC is offering 50 limited-edition commemorative buckets at its Windsor location on May 19. The buckets are engraved with UK and U.S. flags, a crest and gold trim.
A KFC spokesperson commented: ‘When we discovered Prince Harry proposed over a roast chicken, we simply had to show our support for the big occasion.
‘We’re preparing for a rush on orders next Saturday as the people of Windsor flock to our Dedworth Road restaurant to get their hands on this priceless piece of British history.’
Through May 20, Dunkin’ Donuts is offering a “Royal Love Donut”:
— Dunkin’ Donuts (@dunkindonuts) May 14, 2018
On Saturday, the chain is also offering consumers a chance to ride through Central Park in “true prince or princess style” while eating the limited-edition pastries:
To kick off the countdown to the festivities, Dunkin’ Donuts will also be giving guests the royal treatment with a ride inspired by the Royal Couple. On May 14, a special horse-drawn carriage branded in Dunkin’s iconic pink and orange colors will offer select guests a chance to enjoy the Royal Love Donuts while taking a trip through Central Park in true prince or princess style. Carole Radziwill, real life princess and Housewife of New York, will take the ceremonial first ride in Dunkin’s royal carriage.
Chili’s created cufflinks and fascinators styled after popular menu items, which it’s giving away to select consumers.
Dee’s is excited share a line of fascinators we created for Chili’s Grill & Bar to celebrate the Royal Wedding! Follow all 4 designs as they are shared using #ChilisRoyalWedding First up: Big Mouth Burgers 🍔 https://t.co/2EzOHYGcPn https://t.co/Ny5YSCVIF2 pic.twitter.com/vTmz8WuRy4
— Dee’s Louisville (@deeslouisville) May 17, 2018
You’re probably wondering “Why? Why did Chili’s create burger, rib, fajita and margarita-inspired fascinators and cufflinks?” Well, because – “Why not?”
We don’t take ourselves too seriously and ever since we had a moment of self-realization in Sept. 2017, (remember that?) we have made great strides to 1) show you our true personality and 2) not waiver on our promise to focus on what we do best: burgers, ribs, fajitas and margaritas.
The restaurant chain isn’t selling the accessories. Instead, consumers must tag them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using #ChilisRoyalWedding for a chance to grab the swag.
Kraft played up its “liquid gold” tagline for Velveeta and announced a limited-edition version of its product, called “Crowns & Cheese”:
Consumers could visit the site to enter to win the product, which is no longer available.
Heineken also hopped on the royal wedding train carriage to announce its new flavor of Strongbow Cider, which it calls Rosé Apple. The company announced the product by inviting consumers to “Experience Rosé the UK way”—and offering limited-edition Royal Rosé Teacup Sets.
Though many organizations launched PR and marketing stunts designed to highlight core components of their brands, others took a more charitable route, such as SodaStream.
The company auctioned off a set of bottles topped off with miniature hats inspired by those that members of the royal family has previously worn:
A press release read, in part:
… SodaStream is thrilled to shed light on this global hazard by donating all proceeds to Surfers Against Sewage, a charity chosen by the royal couple.
The set of miniature hats has been created using state-of-the-art 3D printing and is 100% recyclable. Each of the five exclusive hat designs is inspired by an iconic look previously sported by female royals. The concept was imagined by the Israeli innovation agency, Gefen Team, and developed jointly with SodaStream’s Global Marketing Team.
The move follows one made my Mini Cooper, who created a personalized 2-door vehicle that has hand-applied UK and US flags on its roof as well as monogrammed touches inside and out.
The royal couple gave the car to The Children’s HIV Association, which will auction it off and keep the proceeds.
What do you think of these efforts?