4 more years…..

….of Michelle Obama.

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Following the success of President Barrack Obama in the US Presidential elections, it’s not just 4 more years of the 44th President, but also 4 more years of Michelle. And like any first lady, the past 4 years have included constant analysis of her clothes.  Every outfit documented, picked over and commented on, there is even a website that posts information on every outfit of the first lady as she wears them.

Not only are her clothing choices instantly given the fashionistas thumbs up or thumbs down, they also provide an instant sales boost for a host of designers. After Obama’s first year in office it was reported that various clothing labels had benefited to the tune of nearly $3 billion through Michelle donning their outfits.

In 2008 for her first television appearance she wore J.Crew, an American high street retailer, and uttered the words “this is a J. Crew ensemble. You can get some good stuff online,” That one statement crashed the company’s website and saw a spike in their share price. The same happened when she wore a $148 dress on another TV appearance, with the dress selling out across the US almost instantly.

Another study concluded that every time she wears a fashion label, high street or designer she lands the fashion retailer $14million in increased sales.

At home it’s Kate Middleton who sends shoppers into a frenzy over the must have dress, with her infamous appearance in a £175 Reiss dress when she meet the Obamas. The dress instantly sold out online and sent traffic to their online store spiking.

Gaining the Presidential or the Royal seal of approval is a massive sales boost to fashion retailers, as well as doing wonders for their marketing, and all for free. Both ladies make their own fashion choices and it also helps that they both wear “affordable fashion”, and do not have to paid like “normal” celebrities to endorse a fashion brand.

Would the same work if we were to see Kate or Michelle drinking a can of Pepsi, or playing on the new HTC phone? Or is this particular phenomenon only applicable to the fashion industry? Of course we will never know as the first family of America and Royal family at home can not endorse brands in the same way they can lend their support to good causes. But an organic brand link can be even more powerful than a conventional paid-for endorsement, and if these ladies are wearing something they much be recommending it.

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A Naked Victory? Who has benefitted from Prince Harry’s Las Vegas antics?

ImagePrince Harry was born with scandalous blood and we can’t get enough of it. Harry may be a PR nightmare, but he’s only treading in the echoes of his heritage. Think Sarah Ferguson’s toe sucking, Princess Margaret’s alcoholism and P-daddy Philip’s innumerable muffled rap-gaffs.

I am sure by now everyone has had a peak in The Sun or Googled the photos of the 3rd in line to the throne.  The internet, newspapers and social media have all been clogged up with opinions on the outcome of these leaked photos here we weigh up the negatives and positives.

Marketing and media magazine, The Drum published the PCRA’s results on the opinion of 143 top PR brains in the industry earlier this week.  43% believed that the photos have had a negative impact on the Prince’s reputation affecting the hard work that had gone into building his public profile through the Jubilee and Olympic period.

The more reserved among us would probably agree with this statement; how can naked photos of a member of the royal family all over the web and in our newspaper pages possibly be positive?  As well as the Prince himself surely his security are feeling slightly red in the face, failing to prevent other partygoers snapping the Prince’s compromising position on their mobiles.

Has The Sun’s controversial decision to publish the photos paid off?  With the majority of people having already seen the photos online and the thousands of complaints that have flooded the Press Watchdog about their unnecessary publication, it would appear not.  However, they are a hot topic of conversation so if it was exposure they were looking for then they’ve got it.

However, at the other end of the spectrum, the same survey showed 15% believed that the photos have in fact had a positive effect on his image evident across the social networking world.  16 000 Facebook users have joined and 10 000 are waiting to be accepted to the group ‘Support Prince Harry with a Salute’ where members of the British army and the public have stripped in support of their Prince.  Ex-hussar Jordan Wylie, who founded the army Facebook group, said: “It was outrageous Harry was criticised for his antics in Las Vegas because he is just one of the lads.  He might be a Royal but he is also a hardworking Apache helicopter pilot and he wants to have some fun.”

Across Twitter #knowthecode has sprung up thanks to The Las Vegas Convention and Visitor’s Authority who have turned the ‘massive breach of royal protocol into a marketing gem’, pushing the phrase, ‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas’.  Their online oath encourages us to sign a pledge of allegiance to the code ensuring that holiday antics do not leave the city; by midday today 92 364 had visited the website and clicked their support.  The irony is that if what happened in Vegas had stayed there this company would be without their campaign and without much of the attention they have received over the past few days, you probably would have never had heard of them.

Quick to join in on the action Lynx launched an advertisement on the back of Prince Harry’s escapades apologising to him for the apparent ‘Lynx effect’ swiftly printing posters with the words ‘Sorry Harry if it had anything to do with us’.

Harry has always had the image of a Playboy Prince but thanks to some nifty PR from Clarence House the Playboy Prince is now the people’s hero, helping keep the peace in Iraq and tirelessly working for charity. The new generation of royals (Wills, Kate, Harry et al) are prettily media savvy. And despite rumours of more photos to come from an even wilder weekend on Richard Branson’s private island, I imagine the PR cogs are already in motion and such wild antics will have to be left to our imagination!