strike up the brand
Posted by Jennifer Sokolowsky on November 22, 2010 11:09 AM
It’s certainly nothing new to think of people—and even celebrity couples—as brands these days. But the engagement/wedding of Britain’s Prince William and his fiancé Kate Middleton is becoming a brand that is celebrity couple and event all rolled into one big fairy-tale package — and it’s expected to help out the lackluster British economy.
As soon as the engagement was announced last week, the race was on to produce goods like copies of the royal blue Issa wrap-dress Middleton wore when the engagement was announced and the ring given to her by Prince William (which formerly belonged to his mother, Princess Diana).
Both have already been lampooned, with Anne Hathaway wearing reproductions of the ring and dress on Saturday Night Live this past weekend.
Next year's royal wedding may add £620 million ($995 million) to the U.K. economy in the form of increased spending on tourism, trinkets and celebratory food and drink, according to Verdict Research, a retail analysis unit of Datamonitor Plc.
With speculation about the couple’s impending engagement swirling for months, manufacturers have been preparing plans for producing wedding-related commemorative merchandise ranging from china and mobile phone covers to books.
One of the reasons the event offers so much opportunity is that, unlike JLo and Marc Anthony, Wills and Kate are unlikely to licence products with their official stamp of approval; anyone can capitalize on royal wedding fever.
For an aristocratic institution, the wedding as brand turns out to be very democratic: the profit goes to the commoners (make that, "entrepreneurial masses") while the royal family foots the bill — or, at least, keeps costs to taxpayers to a minimum.