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Marketing Meghan & Harry: how brands joined the Royal Wedding party

As a marketer, you should already know that any major event gets people talking. On May 19th 2018, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle tied the knot in a lavish Windsor ceremony. While all eyes were on the two of them during the day, a number of brands joined the online conversation in the run-up to the event, in order to capture their share of the online interest.

With this in mind, what were the standout Royal Wedding-related searches and what brands nailed their marketing activity?

The Royal Wedding: what were we searching?

According to Google Trends data, the most popular search query around the Royal Wedding was ‘when is the Royal Wedding?’, followed by ‘what time does the Royal Wedding start?’. The rest of the searches making up the top five were from those who wanted to know how they could watch the wedding, with queries like ‘how to watch the Royal Wedding?’ and ‘where to watch the Royal Wedding?’ all heavily searched.

With many Brits hosting their own Royal Wedding parties to celebrate, how did it impact online searches? There was a 2,800% uplift in searches for ‘Royal Wedding bunting’, while ‘union flag bunting’ increased by 500%, as Brits decorated their homes and neighbourhoods.

Not only were we looking for decorations, we also wanted some commemorative memorabilia to help us remember the day. There was a 300% increase in searches for ‘royal wedding biscuit tin’ and 90% growth in ‘official royal wedding merchandise’ searches.

How brands joined the conversation

With the popularity of William and Kate’s wedding fresh in the minds of digital marketers, Harry and Meghan’s nuptials were always going to gather a lot of conversation and a large search interest.

Perhaps the most memorable marketing effort came from none other than historic British brand, Marks and Spencer. For the duration of the weekend, Marks and Spencer rebranded to Markle and Sparkle in honour of the new Duchess of Sussex. The Windsor store — which Harry and Meghan drove past following the ceremony — featured a new store sign showing the new name.

The move made quite an impact on social media, with the reveal of the branding attracting 18,963 Instagram likes. A photo of the store itself received an additional 18,662 likes, while a video showing how the Windsor store was transformed was watched 52,984 times. As if this social media exposure wasn’t enough, the brand’s move was documented by many high domain news sites, generating valuable coverage and links, while searches for ‘Marks and Spencer Royal Wedding’ grew by 120%!

Fast-food outlet KFC also got in on the celebrations by unveiling a special limited edition gold bucket, which was given out to customers again at the chain’s Windsor store. Deliveroo also jumped on the Royal Wedding trend by extending its hours of operations to give those who were celebrating a chance of a late-night snack. They also handed out £5,000 in credit to people who were upset that they wouldn’t themselves be able to marry Harry.

Major events like Harry and Meghan’s wedding are the perfect marketing opportunity for your brand. Whether it’s creating informative content to answer rising search queries or joining the conversation through marketing activity, the next major event in our calendar is the World Cup—what does your brand have planned?

For help devising and executing an effective content strategy to tie-in with an event, contact Mediaworks on +44 (0) 330 108 4263 or email us at info@mediaworks.co.uk.

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