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The royal wedding bandwagon: How brands jumped on the back of it

Posted by Ryan O'Leary on 22nd May 2018

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past month, I’m sure you are aware of a certain wedding that took place over the weekend. Yes, that’s right Harry the sweet ginger Prince wedded the beautiful actress Meghan Markle in what was a fairy tale event.

But amongst all the drama, from who would walk Meghan down the aisle, what dress she would wear and Prince William not being able to attend the FA Cup final (terrible stuff), brands up and down the country were jumping on the royal wedding bandwagon to push themselves into the spotlight. I’ve picked my three favourite campaigns from the royal wedding hysteria.

Markle & Sparkle

Marks and Spencer’s stole the show with an inspired decision to rebrand for three days to celebrate the royal nuptials. The day before the wedding M&S tweeted “In celebration of Britain’s most anticipated wedding of the year for the next three days, we become Markle and Sparkle.” The savvy PR campaign further established M&S as the flagship store for British retail. M&S also renamed its Roast Chicken Salad sandwich, The Proposal, after the manner in which Harry proposed, again highlighting fantastic Newsjacking tactics and I’m sure sales of the sandwich soared. Shame it wasn’t Percy Pigs!

KFC

KFC has already earned communications praise after the way it handled its chicken drought crisis earlier in the year. And the brand did it again by jumping on the royal wedding bandwagon. As Harry proposed over chicken and Meghan happens to be American, it was just screaming out for KFC to join the party. Fittingly KFC launched its Kentucky Fine China, a bucket made from English bone china for this grand occasion. Personally I’m just happy they have chicken again.

Strongbow

My third and final favourite PR campaign to jump on the royal bandwagon goes to Strongbow who launched its classy new flavour of cider, rose apple. The tagline to accompany the new drink was “experience rose the UK way” and if all that wasn’t enough, limited edition royal rose teacup sets were also on offer.

All this goes to show just how powerful Newsjacking can be to brands. As PR and marketing professionals, it is imperative that we help our clients stay relevant and by jumping on the back of big events it can really help drive engagement, brand exposure and sales.