In the previous post, I wrote about Prince William and Kate’s tenth anniversary portraits. Those were released yesterday. Today they dropped a music video featuring the full family – Will, Kate, Big G, Charlotte, and Louis…and a dog!
This is the true star of the movie, even though the cameo lasts maybe a second. It was confirmed in November 2020 that Lupo, Will and Kate’s cocker spaniel, had died. Then in January it was reported that Kate’s brother, James Middleton, had given the Cambridges a new puppy last year, before Lupo passed on. The puppy’s mother is from Lupo’s sister Luna’s litter. The name of the puppy has not been made public. The puppy shows up right at the start of the film:
Thank you to everyone for the kind messages on our wedding anniversary. We are enormously grateful for the 10 years of support we have received in our lives as a family. W & C— The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge (@KensingtonRoyal) April 29, 2021
ðŸ“¹ @will_warr pic.twitter.com/eWNw1E8FLB
As we’ve seen over the last year or so, House Cambridge has been stepping up their social media game. It used to be that their content wasn’t all that imaginative. But you can’t keep doing the same boring sh-t over and over again, not in these times. So they hired a crew to shoot their family moments, and an editing team to put it together – and I say hired because I can’t imagine that this was done in-house, although going forward they should consider an in-house production team because there is no way that their existing communications team, the one that keeps tripping over itself in crisis management, has the range….although it would be hilarious if they tried to tell us that Kate did all this herself because she taught herself InShot.
Video editing is the skill of influencers. If you spend any time on TikTok you’ll see how quickly this generation can put together their TikToks – which is my favourite content streams on TikTok: watching TikTokkers show you how they cut their sh-t together. My point here is that Will and Kate, as the youngest senior reps of the British royal family, are 100% influencers, whether they would call themselves that or not. So it’s well time for them to be taking an influencer approach to their social media posts to tell their story.
What’s the story here? Aside from the fact that they seem to be auditioning for LL Bean – or, rather, Barbour, since they’re British.
Well, they’re hoping that many families will see themselves in these two young parents with their three children and the dog, playing, discovering, laughing, bonding. This is about relatability and accessibility. If people can relate to them, the suggestion is that, in the UK primarily, this family can stand up for them, can speak for them, represent them. Which is why this video also has the feel of an American political campaign ad without the talky parts.
Most of the campaign ads that get attention these days are the controversial attack-mode style ads. But it’s also political campaign ad standard to do the family thing, with an instrumental playing in the background, lots of kids happily roaming about, maybe a barbecue or a picnic thrown in – warm family scenes that are meant to show that the candidate is a family-focused person. Here’s an example, you only need to watch the first 15 seconds to see the comparison before the talking kicks in:
Of course Will and Kate aren’t running for office, but they are definitely trying to HOLD office. And they don’t have a tangible individual opponent running against them but there is perhaps a more formidable challenger – the question of relevance.
So while, of course, on face value, this music video is a message of gratitude for the well-wishes they’ve received about their anniversary, it also serves a bigger purpose, a strategic purpose in defence of their value to the British identity, by asserting that this image of them and their family IS the identity that should be preserved. Which, naturally, is what political campaigns are all about.