Naughty Prince Harry and Marketing Improvising

It’s quite rare to see advertising agencies improvising on certain unexpected events. Most marketing practices take a lot of time to prepare. However, if the event is a real eyeball catcher and the improvising is quick and elegant, positive results can be surely expected.

For instance, the British Prince Harry caught naked in Vegas last month. This is a significant event that can potentially be used in marketing. Lynx took the opportunity by connecting Harry’s wild night to the “Lynx Effect”. The underwear with the classic British flag logo is quite self-explanatory. And the tagline “unleashed the chaos” left much room for imagination. Moreover they even started to apologize to Harry for the possible and uncontrollable “Lynx Effect”. Lynx has been long known for its sexually alluring branding strategy. This time the royal symbols and the hormone -arousing indications blend quite smoothly.

On the other hand, some non-profit organizations also focused on that wild night and treated it as a branding opportunity. The LVCVA (known as Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority) took the advantage of this incident. However they approached in another way. A campaign called “Know the Code” was launched to support Prince Harry. The “code” was apparently referring to “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”, which has been seen as iconic but controversial since Las Vegas became Americans’ playground. LVCVA reinforce this concept by accusing those paparazzi for disrespecting to the code or others’ privacies. At the same while, LVCVA suggested people to carefully choose travel companions when going to Vegas. And what’s interesting is that in their advocacy letter, iconic features of Vegas, like bottle service, bikini clad girls were substantially emphasized. On the other poster, the famous quote “keep calm and carry on” was adopted. Personally I’m quite curious about Prince Harry’s reaction upon seeing such encouragement.

Pitifully, it’s unlikely that Harry can have the chance of reading the encouragements by LVCVA. Both of their posters were put on “USA Today”. But the Lynx commercial printed on “Suns” can easily found by the royal family. Despite the possible offend to the royal family; Lynx and LVCVA drew lots of attention. These posters were originally designed for papers. They ended up being reposted,  shared and “liked” for thousands of times.

By quickly responding to Prince’s embarrassing moment, both Lynx and LVCVA provided concreteness, unexpectedness in a simple way. Improvising marketing based on certain eye catching event is like standing on the shoulders giants.

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6 Responses to Naughty Prince Harry and Marketing Improvising

  1. xintang says:

    I like how the author can apply the rules of “made to stick” to explain Lynx and LVCVA’s marketing moves in this “Prince Harry Event”. An eye-cathcing public event can be a free and powerful marketing opportunity if companies can take a quick and appropriate response to it. However, it is very important for the companies to take the right side and attitude to make sure that they behave in accordance with social ethics and norm.And sometimes, political-related or other social events can be too sensitive to be make use of for marketing communication, for which reason, companies need selective eyes to identify the operable cases and make a smart choice

    • boweidon says:

      Political correctness is surely important in any communicating practice. It’s especially risky when it comes to marketing and branding. That is maybe why few agencies or companies have made such attempts. However, high risks come with potential high benefits. It’s easy to impress the audiences with such controversial and sensitive events. Moreover, the controversy can generate discussion and even debates, which can further enhance the brand’s influences.

  2. limthong says:

    I agree with xintang about the social ethics and norm. What is interesting in this case is that Harry could be any Harry and not specifically Prince Harry. Technically, the name “Harry” appeared on the Ads might not have been associated to Price Harry but with other elements including art direction signifying all things related to the UK leading the viewers to link these ads with Prince Harry’s news. The company is therefore protected since they would claim that the name Harry would have been anyone’s, and not the Prince. In terms of social ethics and norm, the fact that people did not feel sorry for the incident but rather enjoy the joke produced by advertisers is because of his image as a party-funloving-Prince. If his previous image have been kind and charitable, agencies would have not make fun of him like this and people might feel more empathy for him.

    • boweidon says:

      Interesting to hear your comments on Prince Harry. And Lynx’s little trick of self-protection is reasonable. Maybe people nowadays are just more tolerant when it comes to personal affairs of celebrities. It’s just for fun anyway.

  3. fduan says:

    I love the “Stay calm and carry on”adoption. LVCVA really did a successful and sticky campaign, since the case of Prince Harry can be perfectly associated with the code”what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”, and the Halo effect of Prince Harry would enhance the brand image of Las Vegas. It’s like, in Vegas, and only in Vegas, Prince Harry is like everyone of us.

    • boweidon says:

      I also like that one, to the extent I like the code about Vegas. However, with the trend web 2.0 emerging, it’s really hard to keep what happens in Vegas stay in Vegas. I remember a Facebook promotion video clip several years ago saying that “What happens in Vegas is known everywhere”. in this way, web 2.0 and SNS can be really harmful for Vegas tourism and celebrities who want relaxation in Vegas.
      By the way, if you have watched the clip about Prince Harry caught naked in Vegas, I don’t think you’ll assume that he, a mid-aged bald man, has any sort of Halo-Effect.