Tenuous off-shoots of the Royal Wedding marketing machine

It is less than two weeks until the Royal Wedding and the UK’s brands and retailers are in the midst of wedding fever. Datamonitor estimates that the Royal Wedding will boost the UK economy by £620 million through tourism, jewellery, bridal clothing and festive food and drink. A slightly more conservative estimate by the Centre for Retail Research still suggests a £515.5 million boost to retailers with souvenirs bringing in £222 million!

With clearly so much money to be had in associating your brand with the Royal Wedding wherever you look you can’t escape brands and retailers that have jumped on the bandwagon and are trying to capitalise on the event.

Even whilst waiting in the queue at my local Co-operative store last week my eye was drawn to the “Royal Wedding display” featuring Union Jack bunting and Royal Wedding Party Cup Cakes. This made me think about some of the very bad or tenuous Royal Wedding links I have witnessed over the last few weeks and I have compiled a list of ten:

10 Tenuous or Dire Royal Wedding Links

  1. Alcatel – a Royal Wedding edition mobile phone handset which features the date of the wedding and initials of the couple printed on the back on the phone, a Union Jack design on the front, Mendelssohn’s Wedding March as a ringtone and wallpaper of the couple.
  2. Freeview – an £1.8 million advertising campaign featuring three corgis encouraging consumers to upgrade to the Freeview HD service in time to watch the wedding.
  3. Vauxhall – between April 15 and 30, any customer visiting a Vauxhall dealer will be granted the choice of 16 “majestic” deals on new cars and vans that will leave them feeling like “royalty”.
  4. Inkwell Media – a comprehensive Royal Wedding resource pack to help schools and teachers reap educational benefit for children from the interest surrounding the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on 29th April.
  5. Hovis – new Union Jack packaging for its Soft White brand intended to reflect the patriotic fervour of people ahead of the Royal Wedding.
  6. Travel Lodge – offering British couples called “William & Kate” a free honeymoon package during the Royal Wedding weekend. Namesake couples can relive the magic of their own honeymoon at any one of the company’s 450 Travelodge hotels across England, Scotland and Wales.
  7. Castle Rock Brewery – a commemorative brew called “Kiss Me Kate,” – the drink claims to be “elegant, tasteful and British to the core.”
  8. Schweppes – teamed up with Facebook to create a wedding card for consumers to sign, which will feature people’s names hand-written on the card when the page is “liked” by an individual. Fans of the couple will have the chance to offer their congratulations by adding their name to what Schweppes is calling the “Great Royal Wedding Card”.
  9. My favourite: Pets At Home – “Pets Love a Party Too” – a regal product line for pet lovers, from Union Jack dog cushions to patriotic toys and treats.
  10. The most tenuous: London Vision Clinic – watching the Royal Wedding through London Vision Clinic Eyes – the link is so tenuous I can’t even explain it so click here to read for yourself!

Whilst this is all very amusing there is a more serious note. Not everyone is blown away by the excitement of a Royal Wedding and even loyal brand customers could get turned off by having links to the wedding shoved in their face every way they turn. A weak or poorly executed campaign can be damaging to a brand’s reputation and affect sales longer term so hitching a ride on the Royal Wedding bandwagon might not be such a good idea after all.

What are the most stomach curdling or tenuous links that you have seen? Please feel free to share them below.

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