From sex toys to holidays in Merry Hill: A top 10 of Royal Wedding PR stunts

royalweddingcarAn email landed in my inbox last week from the hotel chain Jurys Inn. The firm wished to announce that it was so bowled over by the impression Pippa Middleton made at the wedding of her sister, Kate, to Prince William, that they wanted to do something to celebrate.

Their rather belated reaction to the wedding was this: Anyone could Philippa or Pippa could stay at a Jurys Inn hotel between now and the end of June and get 10% off. Just for being called Pippa. Really.

Should Pippa really be minded to switch from the Goring Hotel to a Jurys Inn, I suggest avoiding the ones in Newcastle (it’s in a horrible location and the steak on the restaurant menu has more in common with a wellington boot than it does a cow) and Birmingham  (Reminded me of a mental hospital from a horror film, and that was before I discovered just how expensive the car park was.) The one at Angel in London is pretty good though – and just a brief cab ride away from the Palace!

Joking aside, the Jurys Inn press release is probably the last in a long line of royal wedding-related PR stunts. So, to celebrate, I searched one of my favourite crowdsourcing tools – the Response Source newswire – to find 10 other barely plausible Wills ‘n’ Kate-related press releases:

10. Most tenuous link to the bridesmaid: Pippa and Pilates

The media went into meltdown at the sight of Pippa Middleton on the wedding day. The nation’s women, it appears, all reached for their mobile phones and started dialling the nearest pilates class:

Staff at the Esporta group’s 55 health clubs have been inundated with enquiries from ladies – and men – looking to include Pilates as a part of their workout.

In fact, bosses have been forced to schedule additional sessions and bring in more Pilates teachers to meet members’ desire for a cutie booty.

Commercial director Mark Taylor comments:  “The exercise class has been free to our members for years and has always proved popular, but the level of enquiries since the Royal Wedding, and especially in the last 24 hours since confirmation of the magic formula was unveiled, has been incredible – I’ve never experienced anything like it.”

9. Most unlikely wedding-related sales surge: Fake suntan

What did you do after the royal wedding finished? According to Debenhams, if you headed to the local department store to stock up on fake tan, you’re not alone:

The afternoon of the Royal Wedding Day saw fake tan flying off the shelves with sales up 219 per cent compared to the same day last year. The following day was almost as successful as shoppers, inspired by the wedding highlights on TV, boosted sales by 200 per cent.

Sara Stern, beauty director at Debenhams said: “You simply can’t underestimate the impact that Kate and Pippa will have on the beauty industry.”

Rather like the impact on the PR industry, it would seem.

8. Most unlikely product to get in on the act: Duck Tape

No, really. Imagine you’re the PR for Duck Tape and you get told to cash in on the royal wedding. How do you do it? Get students at St Andrew’s – where the happy couple met – to hold a Pimm’s Party and dress up in Formula 1 racing-inspired costumes made of Duck Tape of course!

In honour of the wedding, The Lumsden Club from the University hosted a Pimm’s Party to toast the Royal Couple who met at St Andrews.

In addition to being a charity fundraiser, the Formula 1™ British Grand Prix themed event featured 13 racing-inspired outfits created out of Duck Tape ® brand duct tape by Fashion students of Oaklands College in St Albans as part of their Year 1 Fashion Extended Diploma.

The students created a unique collection of innovative, eye-catching outfits utilising the brand leading duct tape, which were displayed on mannequins as part of the party decorations.

To add to the party dressing, each student who purchased a ticket to the event received two rolls of Duck Tape ® brand duct tape and were challenged to create their own duct tape racing flags.

Almost 200 students took up the challenge and Duck Tape ® brand duct tape made a donation of £1,500 to two deserving charities; Rhet in Scotland and Sheryl’s in Kenya.

7. Most Random link to the royal wedding: The Last Supper

The Titanic’s Final Banquet. Pompeii’s Last Meal. The Last Supper. Elvis Presley’s final food. All meals which marked a historic occasion. Now add Will & Kate Royal Wedding canapes to the list. That’s what former Masterchef finalist Jim Fisher has done at his cookery school in Dordogne. As the press release notes:

Our Famous Last Suppers Course offers something for everyone, whatever level of ability and experience. There’s the challenging Titanic menu which is a five-day course in itself. Then there’s a simple, Elvis Presley-style snack which, together with a couple of other celebrity favourites, can be learnt in a day.

Whilst not quite a last supper, we’ve added the Royal Wedding canapé menu as everyone would love to be able to share a taste of the event of the decade with their friends.

6. Best use of an old PR trick

Oh, the old ‘here’s a lookalike’ trick to cash in on a big event. At least EasyJet took it to a new level, ‘searching’ Europe for 20 Will and Kate lookalikes before picking Simon Watkinson from London and Orsola Rossi from Milan as the most convincing pair.

Simon Watkinson said: “I’ve often been told that I look like Prince William, particularly since the Royal engagement was announced, but I can’t believe that I’ve been crowned the winner. I’m so excited to have won a year’s worth of free easyJet flights and to be in London for the big day.”

Of course, being from London shouldn’t make it a complete shock to Simon that he was at home on the day of the royal wedding.

5. Best intro to a royal wedding press release:

Who needs Westminster Abbey when you have Merry Hill?

A lucky couple are set to be treated like a king and queen with the chance to win a £3,500 royal wedding day prize at a Black Country hotel.

The winning bride and groom will have their own royal wedding with an all expenses paid day and reception at the four-star Copthorne Hotel at Merry Hill on the same day Kate and Wills tie the knot on Friday, April 29.

The competition winners will share their dream day in sumptuous style with a civil ceremony at the hotel, a wedding breakfast for up to 40 guests with reception drinks, evening buffet for up to 80 guests and a hotel suite for the married couple, all courtesy of the waterfront hotel.

And the headline? “A bostin’ ‘royal wedding’ up for grabs in the Black Country”

4. Most inventive way to get animals involved: Puppy love

Did you pet look a bit sad on the day of the royal wedding? You only have yourself to blame – urbanpup.com did encourage you to get your dog an outfit for the big day:

Eye catching t-shirts featuring the union jack, the date of the nuptials and William and Kate’s names are available in multiple colours and priced at only £12.95.

Urban Pup Managing Director Denis Kelly said, “The Royal Wedding is a great celebration, particularly for fashion lovers. There is a lot of anticipation about Kate’s wedding dress and which fashion designer she will have chosen. Make sure your dog looks the part too on 29th April in Urban Pup’s own high fashion Royal Wedding range.”

3. Best excuse to run a survey: Cork

Here we go:

Beware boys…women expect you to pop the question two years and five months into a relationship, a study revealed today.
The poll by I Love Natural Cork, commissioned to celebrate the launch of the new ‘Pop ‘n’ Fizz’ app, found that most women start dropping hints and begin window shopping for engagement rings around that time.

That’s right, a campaign called I Love Natural Cork – something to do with the stopper in a wine bottle being better if it’s natural – quizzed 2,000 women to ask them about marriage. And the royal wedding link?:

A spokeswoman for I Love Natural Cork said: “The Royal Wedding marks the start of the wedding season, and what better way to celebrate romance than to pop the cork on a bottle of fizz. The pop of a natural cork has always been synonymous with celebration ever since Champagne was invented, and anyone not lucky enough to open a real bottle this Friday can join in the fun and celebrate with our new ‘Pop ‘n’ Fizz’ app.”

2. Most random royal wedding memorabilia: Sliding doors

Looking for something to remember the big day with? How about a pair of sliding doors with the happy couple in red:

Royal Wedding memorabilia is capturing the nation’s hearts, as Brits get set for the big day and buy bunting, commemorative tea towels and plates.

Spaceslide.co.uk’s sliding wardrobe doors, featuring sweethearts Prince William and Kate Middleton, are one of the more ‘unusual’ items available and a new colour has been added to the Limited Edition range – red for those looking to theme their rooms in red, white and blue.

The new red doors are currently displayed in Spacelide.co.uk’s showroom in Walsall and will be appearing on the Alan Titchmarsh TV show later this month.

1. Most inappropriate royal wedding link

From the beautiful city of Bath comes this:

The UK’s largest online adult retailer, Lovehoney.co.uk has launched the Commemorative Royal Wedding Ring to celebrate the union of His Royal Highness Prince William of Wales to Catherine Elizabeth Middleton on April 29th.

The Commemorative Royal Wedding Ring allows you to enjoy the regal union of pleasure with an added buzz. Adding the ‘something blue’ to the matrimonial ceremony, this Royal Blue Commemorative Royal Wedding Ring is available for lovers now, for £6.99. Just slip the the Royal Blue ring onto his Prince Charming and enjoy the mutually stimulating benefits during your private (or public) display of affection.

And you thought the William and Kate TV movie was bad…

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