Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Pride for the Crown

While navigating the tube system all over London this weekend, I got a chance to view a lot of advertisements posted on the underground walls. There were quite a variety, including ads for plays, food, beverages, cell phones, and the 2012 Olympics. One thing I found particularly interesting was the vast amount of advertisements that utilized something "royal" in order to make the advertised product seem more appealing to consumers. Many ads offered a promise of their product's ability to make you feel like a royal. Advertisements like this are almost never seen in the United States.
This got me thinking about the sense of tradition and pride in the monarch that I noticed while touring the city of London. Anywhere we went in London there was always something alluding to the monarch. There were multiple street names, gate names, and bridge names involving royal terms. Also while touring the city, I noted the small crown emblems placed in random places; the most common place being the tops of the red telephone booths.

I always assumed that the people of England had respect for the monarchy, but until this past weekend I did not really understand the full extent of it. The people here love their queen. She represents a steady point in a constantly changing world. She embodies characteristics that never change and that the people deeply admire.

Because of this strong sense of pride in their monarch, it is no surprise that so many of the ads throughout London utilize the desirable trait of royalty as a form of persuasion. I wonder though, how would an advertisement associating an object with royalty be viewed in America? Would it be as persuasive? Would it even have any effect at all? Or could it even be viewed negatively?



  1. I noticed the usage of the crown in advertisements, too! I don't think that it would have quite the same effect in the States. I do think that it would have *an* effect, but for different reasons.

    Here the crown represents, like you said, a constant in a changing world and there is a very patriotic connection and sense of appreciation for the Queen. So Americans would obviously not have that type of connection.

    However, I do think that the messages could be tweaked a bit to persuade consumers in the States. A lot of people are at least a little interested in Kate Middleton (I, for one, woke up at 4:30 a.m. and drank mimosas with my roommate on the day of the royal wedding).

    If advertisers played up the glamor and sophistication of the crown, particularly with emphasis on Kate and William, I think it could be an effective strategy.

  2. The obsession with the royal family is something I noticed while in London the weekend too. Crowns are used not only in advertising, but also in their architecture and art. For example, at one of the parks I visited while in London, the gardeners had trimmed the hedges and flowers to look like like a giant crown. I was thoroughly impressed. I agree with Samantha that an advertisement playing on the idea of royalty could be effective. However, the English largely recognize that their obsession with the royal family is a little excessive, since the royal family doesn’t actually have any kind of political power. I had the chance to speak with a born and bred Englishman, and he admitted that he doesn’t understand the obsession with the royal family. He openly bashed Kate Middleton for “going to college just to find a husband.” The royal family seems to be a type of glorified celebrity. They’re like the Kardashians, only classier!

  3. I think celebrities are definitely our royal equivalent in American advertising. We promise products that create a connection between the general public and the famous-you'll look, dress, and enjoy life JUST LIKE whomever. As the stars seem to have all the goods according to the media, I'd say celebrity endorsed advertisements are extremely effective.

    If America were to attempt to use the British monarchy specifically in advertisement, I don't think it would be a very effective campaign in the long-term. As Rachel pointed out, we don't have the tradition and long-running history with which to relate. Kate & William are just celebrities to us, and celebrity status is extremely fickle compared to royalty. We care about them now, but we probably won't in the next few years.

    In terms of negative response, I could see how royalty could possibly be associated with excess, or pompous behavior. Especially with the growing popularity of Green campaigns, Americans might fear being associated with a concept of royalty and having everything you desire may make them seem selfish and apathetic.

  4. I think the thing here to pay attention to is the age of the monarchy. The States are less than 300 years old. We are babies compared to the rest of the world.

    Look closely at all of these crowns you see. You'll more than likely see an EiiR. Standing for Elizabeth II Regime.

    Walking around Oxford I have noticed a few different ones (especially on post boxes). Think about how old one of these symbols are... I've seen GivR.

    As far as an advertising stand point, I think it is similar to us branding anything as "Made in the U.S.A." or the need we feel to cover our cars in Red, White and Blue.

    Think about how we dressed on the Fourth of July. . . We are probably more obnoxious than the subtleness of a crown.

  5. I definitely noticed the advertisements for the crowns and royalty much more than I did for the Olympics. Which in my opinion was quite shocking. It is also the diamond jubilee. This could also be a reason for the abundance in royal advertisements.
    However, I did notice a strong devotion to the monarch while visiting the city of London. They seem to really care about their authority figures. On the other hand the United States is divided on our authority. Although we are run by a democracy and not a monarchy a large percentage of the country doesn't even give respect to our leading officials regardless of which party is in term.
    I think it is fascinating how devoted they are to the monarch. Everyone loves the royal family, or at least from what I saw. A good percentage of America even woke up at 5 am to watch the royal wedding and we have nothing to do with them. I think this just goes to show how much tradition their country holds.

  6. The obvious differences between the England's monarchy and America's democracy are that 1) we elect our officials, and 2) we are a country that promotes free speech. That's not to say that England doesn't have free speech, but everyone in America has always been given the opportunity to speak out against the government. The royal family of Britain is more so a figurehead than an active part of the government so they offer little controversy.
    Therefore, it is easy to use the royal family in advertisement because they are a constant in a changing world. You rarely see David Cameron, England's prime minister, in advertisement because his term is limited. The same thing goes for American officials.

  7. Yes I think the people here love the royal family because of the history and culture they represent. Also it is very different than America where our national leaders and figures are always changing. The monarchy is steady and constant unlike our presidents who are political icons the Queen and family are also culture icons which means they bring people together rather then divide them like our presidents.