Eric Mayne's Blog

Royal Wedding Coverage a Crowning Achievement for Some Retailers

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landrovercrown.jpg Many months ago, Chrysler marketing chiefs likely circled today's date and figured they would own it.

Leveraging the Hollywood connections of alliance-partner Fiat, the auto maker scored not just a product placement in a blockbuster action movie, but a starring role. The '11 Dodge Charger is the hero of Universal Pictures' "Fast Five," latest installment in the "Fast and Furious" series, that premieres today.

To further stoke the media frenzy, Chrysler is flogging the flick in its car ads. A marriage made in heaven.

But love conquers all.

While actor Vin Diesel was putting the Charger through its paces during "Fast Five" filming, a prince was proposing to a commoner some eight time zones from Tinsel Town. And the happy couple picked April 29 to wed.

The result? Two billion mugs gaze wistfully into television screens to see royals cruise London in shiny Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, Land Rovers and Jaguars.

Two BILLION. The Super Bowl and Olympics combined can't promise that kind of exposure.

Factor in the global outpouring of emotion prompted by the fairytale union of Prince William and Kate Middleton and no movie matches up. It's enough to melt the hearts of the toughest car dealers.

The bride's dress "was very elegant and gorgeous," gushes Irma Elder, a high-powered U.S. Jaguar and Land Rover retailer. "The whole atmosphere and ambience was wonderful."

Still, business is business.

"I noticed the Jaguar," Elder says of the XJ dispatched to ferry the bride's mother. "And there were Range Rovers everywhere. I couldn't help but think two billion people were saying, 'I would love to have a car like that.' I only wish I had enough to sell one to each of them."

Who says there's no romance in the auto industry?

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