The Marketing Society Forum: Will the Royal Wedding Provide a Long-Term Boost for Brand Britain?

Article excerpt

The momentum that is building around the nuptials of Wills and Kate, combined with the kudos of staging the Olympics, is set to bolster the UK's commercial prospects, here and around the world.

YES - WILLIAM ORR, Director, communication and marketing, British Gas

Brand Britain has a potentially highly effective new branding device in Wills and Kate. In stark contrast to previous iterations, they come across as attractive, modern and in touch. They even seem to be gaffe-free.

The royal wedding is a big-budget launch that will drive the brand's key measures in the right direction. After that it will be about building on the launch - royal visits, appearances at London 2012 and perhaps even some royal babies.

Whatever the roll-out plan looks like, the fundamental equity is surely a long-term boost for Brand Britain (not to mention bunting and plate manufacturers). Talking of the royal 'equity', I think this would be a good time to refocus on 'core' royals and allow the long tail of minors to recede into the distance. For every Elizabeth and William, there's an Andrew, Edward or Beatrice to remind us that the cost-benefit equation probably needs to be adjusted.

Time, perhaps, for some range rationalisation.

YES - Matthew Dearden, Chief executive, Clear Channel UK

Many of us may already be over the royal wedding, but there's no doubt that it will play a major part in boosting the national identity, particularly as it is followed by the Olympics and the culmination of the Cultural Olympiad in 2012. All these events will help build Britain's long-term profile.

The wedding could easily be the biggest broadcast event in history: VisitBritain predicts that 75% of the potential global TV audience could watch the event. The UK economy will enjoy a boost, especially in the retail sector, as UK residents and tourists will be out and about making the most of the extra bank holiday.

Brands are already capitalising on the rise to prominence of Brand Britain, with an influx of targeted cam-paigns and PR stunts around the royal engagement, and they will continue to do so up to the wedding and beyond.

People are already planning street parties, and this enthusiasm seems to be spreading around the world, with the dedicated blogs and virals playing on the popularity of the event.

MAYBE - Saj Arshad, Group marketing director, Vodafone

The royal wedding provides what great TV does for brands that have a compelling story - positive emotion with high-impact coverage. …