Staying Power: An Endorsement By Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Sways Young Americans and Royal Watchers

It's a modern, American version of the royal warrant: Future streaming content from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex may resonate best with consumers aged 18-34 and those who watched Sunday’s interview.

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Millions of Americans tuned in to watch Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey. Besides potentially boosting their public image, Sunday night’s interview was a promising jumping off point for the Sussex brand. In a recent study by The Harris Poll on behalf of Ad Age, about a third of Americans (33%) who watched the interview say they are more likely to purchase a product or service if both Meghan Markle and Prince Harry endorse it.

When considered separately, Meghan’s brand power slightly outpaces Harry’s: 32% of viewers say they are more likely to purchase a product or service if Meghan Markle alone endorses it while 28% say they are more likely to purchase a product or service if Prince Harry alone endorses it.

Overall, apparel is the product American consumers say they would most likely purchase if endorsed by Meghan and Harry — 57% chose this option — followed by entertainment & streaming services (at 54%), and luxury goods (at 53%). Some consumers even called out specific brand collaborations they’d like to see from the Los Angeles-based royals, including Gucci, Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, Burberry, and Yeezy.

Perhaps due to the royal couple’s relatability and openness, younger consumers are more likely to be swayed by their endorsement. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex appear to have twice the clout with younger adults. Thirty-six percent of consumers ages 18-34 and 39% of consumers ages 35-44 say they are more likely to buy a product or service endorsed by both Meghan Merkle and Prince Harry. In comparison, only 18% of consumers aged 45-54 and 18% of consumers ages 55-64 say the same.

The survey also indicates that future content from Meghan and Harry could draw in a decent share of American viewers, especially among younger consumers and those who tuned in Sunday or watched interview highlights. Forty percent of Americans ages 18-34 said they would be more likely to watch or listen to a streaming program or series produced by Prince Harry and Meghan. Thirty-seven percent of Americans who watched part or all of the interview said the same.

The subject matter of the wide-ranging interview also resonated with Americans; a majority thought the interview was a step in the right direction for mental health discourse. Fifty-five percent of viewers characterized the interview as a “positive step” that will help others struggling with similar situations.

This positive perception may bode well for future social initiatives by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, including their nonprofit foundation Archewell. About two in five Americans (37%) say they are aware of the foundation.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Ad Age during March 10-11, 2021, among 1,031 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was used to adjust for respondents’ propensity to be online. For more information on methodology, please contact Dami Rosanwo.

Download full data here.