April 26, 2011: MEDIA ALERT
Royal Wedding: Thank Disney for our obsession with Kate
“Royal Wedding” fever has engulfed the media and captured the public both here in the U.S. and across Great Britain as Prince William is set to wed Kate Middleton in an April 29 ceremony. Why the obsession with an English prince marrying his sweetheart? With commemorative merchandise, big money in advertising dollars surrounding the event, and endless media coverage, some of it is just business – with a captive audience.
According to Rebecca Hamilton, associate professor of marketing at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, we can thank Disney for some of our fascination with royalty.
“Although ‘princesses’ are not at all American based on our political system, they are very American by culture thanks to Disney,” says Hamilton. “There are princesses in many of the classic Disney movies, and Disney today draws attention to that by marketing all of the princesses together. This is a huge business, dollar-wise, with countless products including dolls, apparel and video games. Thus, girls grow up being fascinated with princesses, and Kate Middleton is about to become a real princess.”
Still, Hamilton chalks up some of the interest in William and Kate’s wedding to nostalgia: “Many people can remember the royal wedding of Diana and Charles, and can't help but be interested in the royal family. Diana’s death was crushing and this new wedding brings back all of those memories.”
Rebecca Hamilton, associate professor of marketing, firstname.lastname@example.org, 301-405-8270.
Hamilton is an expert on branding and consumer behavior.