With over 29 million viewers in the US and nearly 18 million viewers in the UK, the royal wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry of Wales was without a doubt a global media event. In only 50 hours, influencers mentioned the Royal Wedding 2018 almost 85,000 times on Instagram.
We analyzed these event-related posts and came to one clear conclusion whose relevance for marketers goes beyond the current occasion: media events have tremendous power to raise brand awareness and engagement. The royal wedding was a fairy-tale come true – for both the monarchy and the brands and celebs involved.
Attracting more viewers in the US than the UK for the first time ever, the Royal Wedding 2018 made history – even if the ceremony was still the UK’s biggest television event this year. But beyond the global TV audience, the worldwide interest in the wedding was especially evident on social media. We wanted to get an understanding of leading opinions, influencers and brands, so we analyzed all Instagram posts by users with at least 15,000 followers that mentioned the royal wedding in hashtags or captions between May 19 and May 21, 2018. The data revealed which channels stole the show during the wedding weekend.
The Brands that Shined on Instagram at the Royal Wedding 2018
Altogether, the top 5 brands that received the most Instagram mentions during the Royal Wedding 2018 gained nearly 500,000 followers and received a total of over 38 million likes. The awareness and engagement around these brands skyrocketed with an overall earned media value of nearly $7.5 million. This earned media value is one of the most valuable metrics as it describes the monetary worth of media attention.
Givenchy And Stella McCartney Brought In Millions of Dollars and Likes
Unsurprisingly, French fashion house Givenchy that created Meghan Markle’s wedding dress took the number one spot in brand mentions and brand likes on Instagram. When the Haute Couture label released the statement about designing the bride’s gown, the brand’s Instagram channel gained over 100,000 followers on the wedding day alone. However, Givenchy’s artistic director Clare Waight Keller achieved the highest follower growth rate – although her Instagram account was only the third most mentioned and liked brand channel. Gaining over 125,000 new followers during the wedding weekend, the designer nearly doubled her audience on Instagram.
The mentions and likes Givenchy and Waight Keller received had a positive effect on their channels’ earned media values: With media attention worth over $2 million, Givenchy’s earned media value was nearly 3.5 times higher compared to the previous week. Likewise, Keller Wright’s earned media value increased by almost 2.5 times.
Designing for wedding guests Oprah Winfrey and Amal Clooney as well as the bride’s evening gown, Stella McCartney followed close behind Givenchy as the second most mentioned and liked brand channel. With around 150,000 new followers and an earned media value of over $1.5 million, the designer could profit highly from the buzz around the Royal Wedding 2018.
Designers Kim Jones and Philip Treacy took the number four and five spots in brand mentions. While Jones dressed David Beckham as Dior Homme’s artistic director, Treacy designed the hats for the Duchess of Cornwall, Princess Diana’s niece Lady Kitty Spencer and actress Sarah Rafferty. With an earned media value almost 50 times higher compared to the week prior to the wedding, Kim Jones could rack up the highest worth of unpaid media attention.
The Influencers Who Stole The Show
Although the top 5 mentioned influencers gained over one million Instagram followers in total during the Royal Wedding 2018 – and thus more than twice as much as the top mentioned brands – engagement rates and earned media values were higher for brands. Altogether, the five most mentioned influencers received over 21 million likes and reached media attention worth nearly $6.75 million. But this doesn’t mean that influencers benefited less of the event compared to brands. It just illustrated users’ different interaction patterns with influencers and businesses.
The Beckhams Were The Second Most Talked-About Couple Of The Day
It may have been Harry and Meghan’s big day, but another couple stepped out into the spotlight, with David and Victoria Beckham grabbing the number one and two spots in influencer mentions on Instagram. The invitation to the Royal Wedding 2018 bagged David Beckham around half a million new followers and media attention worth almost $3 million. With media attention worth more than $1.25 million, his wife attained an earned media value over 6 times higher than in the previous week. And the couple even did good with their reach: Victoria and David announced they would donate their outfits for charity to help victims of the Manchester bombing 2017.
Just like Victoria Beckham, Oprah Winfrey could also rack up an earned media value over 6 times higher than prior to the wedding. As the fifth most mentioned influencer on Instagram, Winfrey gained around 130,000 new followers and drew massive attention to Stella McCartney when giving thanks to the brand for dressing her.
Thank you @stellamccartney ! Realized Friday morning the beige dress I was planning to wear to Royal ceremony would photograph too “white” for a wedding.Her team did this overnite. Hat is vintage @philiptreacy been in my closet since 2005 with new feathers. OMG was this an extraordinary day! #Harry&Meghan #RoyalWedding #Lovedeveryminute
Although Meghan Markle’s longtime friend actress Priyanka Chopra took the number three spot in influencer mentions and gained over 215,000 new followers, she couldn’t increase her media attention significantly due to her already high earned media value. The raising influencer star was British cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who performed as part of the musical selections for the ceremony. One powerful post by Instagram itself resulted in the cellist receiving nearly 750,000 received likes and a like-follower-ratio of almost 20 percent, he had a big win with his presence at the Royal Wedding 2018.
The Role Of The British Monarchy During The Royal Wedding 2018 On Instagram
But not only brands and influencers could benefit from the Royal Wedding 2018. The event’s biggest winner remains the royal family – at least that’s what Instagram data reveals. Two official Instagram accounts have documented the wedding: First, @KensingtonRoyal that focuses on the young royal generation around Prince William and Prince Harry. And secondly, @TheRoyalFamily which concentrates on the older royal generation around Queen Elizabeth.
Both channels have seen strong increases in follower numbers in the context of the event: With over one million new followers for @KensingtonRoyal and around 600,000 new followers for @TheRoyalFamily during the wedding weekend, the channels show impressive follower growth rates of 75 and 85 percent. In addition, the channels’ earned media values have skyrocketed. The account @KensingtonRoyal gained media attention worth over $3 million, a value that raised by 53 times during the wedding week. On the other hand, the channel @TheRoyalFamily reached media attention worth more than $800,000, a value 31 times higher than prior to the Royal Wedding 2018.
Thanks to Meghan and Harry’s big day, involved brands and influencers could bring in media attention worth millions of dollars and masses of likes. Their awareness and engagement skyrocketed on Instagram, highlighting the impressive impact the Royal Wedding 2018 had. For marketers, this implies one major learning: by participating in events and joining conversations around them, brands can harness the power of these events for their own success. Not only Meghan and Harry found their happy ending, but also Givenchy, Stella McCartney, the Beckhams and many more. And they all lived happily ever after.