Depending on your level of Anglophilia (here defined as watching 10 or more hours of BBC costume dramas a week), you may or may not be aware that a certain wedding is taking place this weekend in Jolly Old England. In a tale as old as time (take your pick of your favorite fairytale cliches), the dashing Prince (in this case, Prince Harry – AKA the spare, not the heir) and the commoner (in this case, Meghan Markle, American actress), will come together in wedded bliss in a lavish spectacle, watched by millions across the globe.
If you’re like me, you’ve been devouring all the pre-coverage, on tenterhooks as Meghan Markle deals her with dodgy, publicity-hungry family, rooting for Meghan to break free and land in her castle on the hill (hey, Ed Sheeran) with her reformed royal rogue (Can you imagine the Harlequin romance novel cover?). There’s a certain Cinderella aspect to it all that’s hard to resist.
And, in our 21st century world of casual ALL THE TIME – i.e. non-stop athleisure wear (I mean I love my yoga pants, but c’mon) and non-stop texting (acronyms included) instead of talking to each other face-to-face, IMHO, the fusty breeze of a traditional royal wedding is kind of refreshing.
As a marketer, all the wedding intrigue and royal tradition got me to thinking. At Bing Bang, we work with many Des Moines and Iowa brands who have decided it’s time to up their game, and change the way they reach their audience. Maybe they’ve typically always reached their audience through traditional means – print, direct mail and the rest, but now realize it’s not just enough – the same mediums and messages aren’t working.
The Royal House of Windsor Family (aka The Firm) is just like one of those brands. After all, in a changing world they have to continue to engage their audience – the people of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth – in order to be relevant, and remain a tradition their subjects consider worth keeping.
If you’ve binged The Crown on Netflix, you’ll get a whole lotta insight into how stifling being very important, but not being able to actually do anything with that importance actually is.
Reaching Your Audience Doesn’t Mean Totally Abandoning Traditional Methods.
But, even in a changing world, your brand (and the Royal Family), can’t abandon who they are. If they threw out the pomp and circumstance, the decorum and the rules, what’s left about them that’s different than all the rest of us with our family drama? It’s that very unmodern emphasis on manners, rules and precedent that make them refreshing in a world of anything goes.
But, the Firm has begun to understand, perhaps most significantly, with the death of Princess Diana, that always succumbing to the rigidity of protocol, while ignoring the pleas and needs of their people will lead to disaster and could mean the end of the monarchy.
In that way, the Family has definitely learned that they need to achieve the balance of adhering to those traditions and hierarchies of the Crown that leave us common folks alternately charmed and awed by it all, while still giving us able to have the chance to scoff at the formal silliness of it all.
No doubt it’s the most delicate of balances, and as the Monarchy faces what being a royal in the 21st century means, they’ve realized the need to seize the moments their family provides to reinforce all the the affection, interest and feelings their subjects have about them.
Using Your Moment.
Nowhere was the importance of using the moment to reinforce the grandeur and awe of the Crown in more evidence than the 2011 wedding of Prince William and Kate. The monarchy was thrust back into the global spotlight, and the Firm responded with a choreographed spectacle that felt traditional yet fresh, with a commoner (oh, the horror!) bride and a couple that looked very much in love.
7(!) years later, longtime bachelor Harry will make the plunge, and he and his bride will again refresh the face of the Royal Family with their fresh, free-spirited take on the traditions of a royal ceremony. The couple has made a few subtle changes from William and Kate’s wedding that reflect their personalities – and continue to humanize the brand of the Royal Family, all while offering the Firm the opportunity to shine in front of millions – yet again. These subtle cues – whether it’s the day the wedding takes place on or the venue – offers insight into who Meghan and Harry are and what they hope to offer to British people. Fresh and modern, yet continuing in the storied tradition of those they follow.
So, if you’re like me, you’ll be humming a few bars of “God Save the Queen” on Saturday morning (very early morning!), marveling how this centuries old brand continues to reinvent themselves one Prince and Princess at a time.
Got an event you want to capitalize on with your marketing? Just contact us here – we’d love to see how we can help!