Dole offers 'top banana' chef for Britain's royal wedding
- Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are switching things up at their May 2018 British royal nuptials by planning to serve a banana cake rather than the traditional British wedding fruitcake. Not one to pass up on a regal opportunity, Dole Food Company, Inc., is now offering the services of its director of culinary nutrition at the Dole Nutrition Institute, Mark Allison, per a press release from the company.
- Allison is a U.K. native of West Glamorgan, Wales, and regarded as a leading authority on cooking and baking with fresh fruits and vegetables — especially bananas — according to the release. In a statement, he said designing a banana cake worthy of the royal couple would represent a "higher calling, both personally and professionally."
- Along with offering the services of its "top banana" chef, Dole will use social media to post congratulatory banana memes inspired by Markle's sharing an image of two bananas embracing in October 2016, around when the couple began dating. The first of the memes was posted on Dole's social media platforms Monday and featured a royal banana on bended knee proposing to another banana.
Congratulations to Meghan and Prince Harry from Dole Fresh! We're going bananas over your Banana Wedding Cake. pic.twitter.com/WYgHH2JUNG— Dole Tweets (@DoleTweets) December 5, 2017
The somewhat off-the-cuff marketing from Dole provides an example of a brand savvily attaching its name to a what's shaping up to be a closely-watched cultural event both in the U.K. and stateside: another royal wedding. When Prince William and Kate Middleton were wed in 2011, a number of big-name U.S.-based advertisers, including Betty Crocker and Papa John's, jumped at the opportunity to offer celebratory promotions and content, per The New York Times.
It won't be surprising to see a repeat of that trend leading up to the ceremony next year, and for good reason. There's sure to be dozens of hours of TV broadcasts and digital streams covering every development along the way, presenting brands a lucrative opportunity to get in front of an engaged audience.
In this case, Dole was able to capitalize on the royal couple's love of bananas, which extends to the point that Markle and Prince Harry are ditching the ceremonial staple fruitcake. Even if Allison doesn't land the gig, the brand can still find ways to attach its name to the proceedings, including through social media memes.
The stunt shows how marketers can remain vigilant for news items or events where their brand is a natural fit and how they can take advantage of those opportunities. Keeping things fun and true to brand goals are essential, however, and are attributes Dole seems to be adhering to with its effort so far.
- Business Wire Dole Hopes Its Banana Cake Offer Holds Royal Appeal