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Brand Endorsement Potential of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle The Duke and Duchess of Sussex revealed in new poll.

Ad Age-Harris Poll examines the attitudes American consumers have about the couple in wake of Oprah interview.

The potential post-palace endorsement power of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry came into full view in the aftermath of their blockbuster interview with Oprah Winfrey when the patio furniture brand they sat on sold out online within a day. And Meghan Markle’s quick mention of the “Humphrey Yogart” yogurt shop she worked at as a teenager resulted in a surge of business at the Los Angeles-area establishment, according to Page Six.

But the couple’s biggest business opportunity is in apparel, streaming services and luxury goods, according to a new consumer poll.

About a third of Americans who watched the CBS interview on Sunday say they are more likely to purchase a product or service if Markle endorses it, and 28% said the same about Prince Harry, according to a new Ad Age-Harris Poll survey. Of these people, 57% listed apparel as the category they would most likely be swayed into buying if backed by the couple, followed by streaming services (54%) and luxury goods (53%), according to the poll, which was conducted online in the U.S. from March 10-11 among 1,031 adults ages 18 and older. Respondents name-checked a few brand collaborations they’d like to see including Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Burberry and Yeezy.

The couple’s popularity is higher with younger consumers: 36% of respondents ages 18-34 and 39% of those 35-44 say they would be more likely to buy a product backed by them, according to the poll.

“What our research shows is that Meghan and Harry have an impressive amount of clout with Americans,” says Will Johnson, CEO of The Harris Poll. “And it’s the younger consumers and the consumers who are already keyed into the royal narrative that are the most likely to engage with products or services endorsed by the royal couple—likely because these audiences appreciate Meghan and Harry’s accessibility and relatability. There is an opportunity here for brands that align with the couple’s brand of authenticity and wellness to create collaborations that appeal to these values.”

Of course, Meghan Markle is already known for sparking interest in fashion—and any future collaborations in apparel would be a continuation of the style cachet she already carries. The Armani silk dress that Markle wore during her Oprah interview is sold out at most retailers, with very few pieces left, according to Lyst, a fashion search platform.

Lyst has been tracking “The Meghan Effect” since 2017, when a coat Meghan Markle wore for her first public appearance helped create a 164% increase in online searches for beige coats within 24 hours. Last summer, Lyst called Markle its “most powerful dresser of 2019,” noting that her outfits, on average, result in a 216% increase in searches for similar pieces.

But Sunday’s TV interview, which drew more than 17 million viewers, boosted Meghan Markle’s profile beyond fashion as she opened up on topics of race and mental health, including saying that an unnamed member of the royal family expressed concerns about the skin color of the couple’s son, Archie. She also described how she had suicidal thoughts and alleged that she was not able to get help from the royal family’s human resources staff.

Openness ‘a positive step’
Her openness about mental health was greeted favorably by American public: 55% of respondents to the Ad Age-Harris Poll said it is “a positive step that will help others in similar situations.”

Meghan and Harry “in many ways have encapsulated that humanity and that authenticity that doesn’t typically get associated with the royal family,” says Ahmad Islam, CEO and managing partner of Ten35, an agency that specializes in reaching multicultural, millennial and Gen Z consumers. “When you compound that with the natural curiosity around the royal family, it elevated their relevance and [the] interest in the things they do and the brands they might get behind and support.”

Among those paying close attention to the Sunday interview was Chelsea Hirschhorn, CEO of Frida, a mother’s personal care brand known for its realistic portrayals of childbirth and motherhood. Two years ago, she published an open letter to then-pregnant Markle in the New York Times, asking her to be authentic and skip the unrealistic traditional royal baby photo outside the hospital following birth. Markle did not pose for a photo, and talked about this in the interview with Oprah, noting that she was not asked to.

Hirschhorn in an email interview this week with Ad Age said she applauds Markle for “challenging archaic conventions.”

“There will be plenty of brands that seek to leverage her based solely on her growing profile,” says Hirschhorn, referring to beauty and fashion companies. But Hirschhorn points out that only brands that have similar missions, including mental health, women’s rights and equality, will resonate with relevant consumers. “Brands like ours who are equally as committed to authentic storytelling will find her an impactful spokesperson,” Hirschhorn says. (Frida does not have a deal with Markle.)

The poll’s positive consumer sentiment on a streaming services collaboration seemingly bodes well for Archewell, which is the name of the philanthropic and content production organization formed by the couple. It includes a partnership with Netflix that is reportedly worth $100 million and is said to include documentaries, feature films, scripted shows and children’s programming, according to The New York Times. The content arm, dubbed Archewell Productions, “will utilize the power of storytelling to embrace our shared humanity and duty to truth through a compassionate lens,” according to its web site. The Hollywood Reporter this week reported that the couple tapped Ben Browning, president of film and television production at FilmNation Entertainment, to spearhead the production company.

David Furnish has opened up about working with Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex on their new Netflix show Pearl, and it sounds like they are having a wonderful time creating the much-anticipated project.

David Furnish on working with ‘amazing leader’ Meghan Markle on Netflix’s Pearl
The star opened up about the Duchess of Sussex

David Furnish has opened up about working with Meghan Markle, on their new Netflix show Pearl, and it sounds like they are having a wonderful time creating the much-anticipated project.

Speaking during in attendance Inspiration Awards, David was full of praise for the Duchess of Sussex, saying: “She’s a fantastic collaborator, amazing leader. And we’re just very, very excited to be working with, you know, someone is as influential and as supportive as Netflix.”

Meghan previously opened up about their upcoming project back in June. In a statement, she said: “Like many girls her age, our heroine Pearl is on a journey of self-discovery as she tries to overcome life’s daily challenges. I’m thrilled that Archewell Productions, partnered with the powerhouse platform of Netflix, and these incredible producers, will together bring you this new animated series, which celebrates extraordinary women throughout history.

“David Furnish and I have been eager to bring this special series to light, and I am delighted we are able to announce it today.”

At the time, David added: “I am delighted that we are finally able to announce this exciting animated series. Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex and I are deeply passionate about bringing the inspirational and positive stories of extraordinary women from around the world to a global audience of all ages. The team collaborating on the series are first class, and Netflix are the perfect partner.”

During the interview, the producer also opened up about his husband, Sir Elton John, and how his recovery is going after a recent hip injury. He said: “Your health has to come first and I don’t think he would have been able to finish the tour if he wasn’t going to go in and have the hip surgery done so I’m actually really relieved and excited.

“Then he’ll be able to go back on the road and be pain-free and then everybody will get a better show and he’ll be happier.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Donates $25,000 to Melba’s Black-Owned Restaurant towards the company’s COVID-19 Employee Relief Fund.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle The Duke and Duchess of Sussex Donates $25,000 to Melba’s Black-Owned Restaurant After Tasting Chicken and Waffles

Melba Wilson and Prince Harry
(Image Credit: Instagram/ MelbasHarlem)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stopped in Harlem to try Melba’s chicken and waffles on Friday (September 24), according to Page Six. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex also left a generous tip. Before leaving, they pledged to donate $25,000 towards the company’s COVID-19 Employee Relief Fund.

Melba’s Restaurant, named after founder Melba Wilson, is a premier soul food destination in New York City. This black-owned restaurant was opened in 2005. The restaurant serves an array of comfort foods such as Melba’s Spring Rolls, Southern Crab Cakes, and Fried Catfish Strips. You can also order creative entrees, including Southern Fried Chicken Wings & Eggnog Waffles and BBQ Turkey Meatloaf.

This was the first time Prince Harry had a taste of chicken and waffles. Diners at the restaurant were shocked to spot Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. One person noted that Prince Harry was served Southern fried chicken and eggnog waffles, catfish, spring rolls, and yams. The couple also added in a family favorite, collard greens, which Meghan’s mother often prepares for the couple.
Melba was excited to give The Duke and Duchess of Sussex a taste of her restaurant’s famous foods. She shared the news about her special guests on Instagram.

“It was such an honor to officially welcome Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to Melba’s! I am so thankful for their commitment to donate $25k and hope to welcome them back soon. Thank you for dining with us!

The 114th Street Harlem restaurant is giving the community more than food. Melba’s is providing job opportunities to people who may have been impacted by COVID-19.

Melba’s COVID-19 Employee Relief Fund was founded to provide financial support to hourly workers at the restaurant. Since many families have struggled during the pandemic, the fund is designed to give a helping hand. This fund was created through a partnership with Team Unity Incorporated — a nonprofit organization that supports diversity, equality, and inclusion initiatives.

The fund’s goal is to raise a minimum of $250,000. Thanks to the generosity of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the organization will obtain 10% of its base fundraising goal.

The royal couple has been full of surprises during the pandemic. While in Harlem, Meghan Markle visited PS 123 Mahalia Jackson School. She read her first children’s book, The Bench, to second-grade students, People reported.

The elementary school students aren’t the only ones excited to be in the presence of royalty. Melba’s conversation with The Duke and Duchess was a moment to remember. Melba shared her excitement on her page earlier today.
“This was truly a dream come true for this girl who was Born, Bred and Buttered in Harlem!,” Melba posted. “I am forever grateful!”

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