Inspiration blog Inspiration blog

The Experience Brands Weekly #180

Have you got your hat? It’s Royal Wedding time.

Just in case you haven’t noticed, there is a wedding going on this week. As the nation (well, at least some of it) descends into Royal Wedding Fever, we take a look at this truly British occasion.

It’s not just in the UK that the Royal Wedding is big news. In fact, the UK is falling behind six countries when it comes to interest in the upcoming nuptials. In recent Ipsos MORI research, India comes out as the country which is most interested with 54% expressing some interest. Five other countries are ahead of the UK – South Africa, Romania, Malaysia, China and Saudi Arabia. The UK interest level comes in at 34%, equal with the USA.

The research also looked at attitudes to different members of the Royal Family, but most interestingly the impact of the Royal Family on how people view the UK. On average, half of those surveyed across the world said that the Royal Family had no impact on their view of the UK, but where it did it was generally positive. The Royal Family does however make others think that the UK is more traditional, as well as associations with power and self-confidence. While the royals may not change someone’s entire view of the UK, they do affect our global image.

With people celebrating and tuning in across the world, the royal wedding will bring significant interest and attention to the UK, perhaps a welcome distraction from that attracted by Brexit, as well as a potential large economic boost as we all head to parties, pubs and grab the latest royal merchandise. Some have suggested that the wedding could generate a £80 million lift to the UK’s economy. It is estimated 50,000 Americans will descend on the streets of Windsor, along with crowds from the UK and elsewhere across the world. Outside the UK, there are pop-up bars in Washington, hotel packages to help you celebrate in style, and parties at all times of day and night. You can even by a special edition cereal box for £40 to really start the day off in style.

 

Lots of brands are getting involved in the celebration – one of our favourites is Soda Streams Limited edition bottles topped with hats of royal weddings past, which they are auctioning off in aid of a plastic free charity.

 

 

M&S is now Markle & Sparkle for the next three days and have even renamed their roast chicken sandwich in honour of Harry’s proposal.

 

 

 

Another brand celebrating Harry’s roast chicken proposal is, of course, KFC. They have launched ‘Kentucky Fried China’ – a bucket made of English bone China and special limited edition buckets are being used in KFC Windsor on the day itself.

 

 

Even Strongbow has jumped in, promoting its new rose apple cider by inviting Americans to celebrate with its limited edition royal rose tea cup set.

 

 

Iceland are making a lemon and elderflower royal wedding cake, you can get transatlantic inspired Chocolate Fudge Brownie digestives via the McVities Twitter account, and even some special edition sausages. The madness has truly set in. As you turn your attention to Windsor tomorrow (or just try to avoid the whole thing) there is no denying the buzz that a royal wedding creates. These events do shape what the world thinks of the UK. While not the complete determining factor in their perceptions, the royal family does play a significant part in brand Britain. Whether that’s a positive or negative is hard to say, but what is for sure is there is no other country who celebrates quite like this – cereal boxes, tea sets and all.