Can the Royal Wedding drive instant pudding and cruise line sales?

British Flag - Royal marketingAmid a torrent of attention (whether “official” or otherwise) to Britain’s latest royal wedding, this is a propitious time for companies whose names include the word “Royal.” Ranging from cruise lines to desserts, they can bask in the reflected glow of high-wattage media coverage of the royal royals. It might be a little late, though, to give Royal Typewriters such assistance.) One British official was quoted as forecasting a global audience of 2 billion people for telecasts of the event. In the U.S., a New York Times/CBS News poll found nearly two-thirds of respondents saying they’d be at least somewhat likely to watch the wedding on TV, including 30 percent saying they were “very likely” to do so. Meanwhile, an American Express Spending & Saving Tracker poll found “more than three in five consumers are willing to pay $600 on average to attend the Royal Wedding if invitations were for sale.” As a British subject, I haven’t seen my invitation yet, but I’m sure it’s on its way.

Granted, not everyone has gotten into the swing of things, with some anti-royalists deliberately absenting themselves from royal-wedding mania. For that matter, few Americans have gone to the length of jetting off to London to put themselves in proximity to the festivities: A Travel Leaders survey of travel agents found just 5 percent saying they’ve booked trips for clients who want to be in that city when the happy couple says “I do.” Indeed, nearly as many said London-bound clients have made a point to avoid being there when the wedding is going on and disrupting what passes for normal life in the city.

When it comes to sentiment rather than travel intentions, though, the monarchy stands high in American esteem. In the New York Times/CBS News poll, Queen Elizabeth scored a favorable rating that any American leader would envy: 61 percent of respondents said they have a favorable opinion of her, vs. a mere 7 percent expressing an unfavorable view. Still, as any astute marketer could tell you, some brands don’t travel well. While a majority (57 percent) of that survey’s respondents think the royal family “is a good thing for the British people” (vs. 17 percent considering it “a bad thing”), just 18 percent think an American royal family would be a boon to its subjects (vs. 68 percent calling it a bad thing). So, while “Royal” brands may get a little boost from the royal-wedding hoopla and the odd dual citizen like myself, they’d better be careful not to lord it over consumers in a country that long ago decided to dispense with a monarchy.