By Gregg Lipman:
In case you haven’t heard, Will and Kate (Duke and Duchess of Cambridge to you and me) are coming to America this week, to California to be exact. Their trip itinerary seems to be set, but we thought that we, as an American branding agency, would offer them our list of, er, quintessential American brands that will give them a rather uniquely American experience. We’re hoping they take time out of their busy, expected and likely boring schedule to check out at least one of our more appealing options.
People magazine will be paying big bucks for a shot of Wills and Kate riding Space Mountain, their hands thrown up in exhilaration … and posing with Mickey and Minnie … and looking for buried treasure (not like they need it) at Pirates of the Caribbean. This iconic park is a must for any visitor to L.A. — and a visit here means that, from that point forward, when people ask them, “Do you Disney?” (to quote a recent New York Times magazine article), they’ll answer, “Yes, we do!”
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
The average American may not be familiar with this brand, but for Californians, this coffee chain is bigger than Starbucks. Sure, the Brits may miss their high tea, but while they’re in America, they’ll need to indulge in the coffee fix of the celebs. (We recommend a Vanilla Iced Blended.)
What could possibly be more all-American than experiencing our great national pastime, baseball? Kate may be bored to tears by a night game at Dodgers Stadium, but Will will likely be cheering from the stands, enjoying a brewski and chowing down on a hot dog. Hopefully the newlyweds will turn a blind eye to the fact that the team’s owner, who is embroiled in a messy divorce, has driven this incredibly strong brand into bankruptcy.
The Kardashians are an American phenomenon, so is it any wonder that they’ve ventured into fashion (like the Olsen twins and Jessica Simpson before them)? High Street shopper Kate will likely want to hit this L.A. boutique — the latest extension of the Kardashian brand — but she should be warned: It’s in “the Valley” (insert gasp here).
VitaCoco Coconut Water
Say goodbye, Evian, and “hola” to VitaCoco! A secret of South American countries for years, coconut water is the new American craze, and there’s no better way for the Duke and Duchess to stay hydrated during their hot July visit than with this electrolyte-packed drink. After all, there’s a good reason why it has become one of the fastest-growing lifestyle beverages in North America — and did you know that former Brit Madonna is an investor?
Sure, it might piss off the Queen, but we think that’s precisely why Wills and Kate need to visit Kat Von D’s “LA Ink” tattoo shop, High Voltage, during their visit. (Plus they can get a taste of our American fixation with reality TV … not like they didn’t start all that across the pond). We’re envisioning matching “Cambridge” tats — for Will’s on his bicep and for Kate on her bum.
Sports Club LA
There’s going to be a lot of eating and drinking during the royal visit, so the fitness-loving Duke and Duchess may want to hit L.A.’s best, and most famous, athletic club to burn some calories. This chain is so popular, it has outposts in New York, D.C., Boston, San Francisco and Miami … and we’re guessing Wills and Kate will have an unlimited pass for future U.S. visits.
The secret menu at In-N-Out Burger is part of the allure of this iconic Southern California burger chain, but we have a feeling Will and Kate won’t have trouble finding someone behind the counter to tip them off. We envision the Duchess getting hers “Protein Style” (burger wrapped in lettuce, no bun) while the Duke — whose weight and style choices are not being watched nearly as closely as those of his svelte wife — might opt for “Double Meat” (two beef patties, lettuce, tomato, spread, with or without onions, on a freshly baked bun).
Humanitarian Wills will want to drop by the new West Hollywood store of cult brand TOMS, which gives a pair of new shoes to a child in need for every pair of shoes sold. Goodness knows, Wills can afford a lot of shoes. This might be a perfect place to pick up a souvenir for brother Harry, who shares Will’s philanthropic spirit and errs on the hipper side.
Okay, so it’s not a brand or a landmark, but Windsor, California, might be a logical last stop for Kate and Wills, given that it bears the same name as their family and all … plus its Napa location makes it a great place to unwind with a few glasses of wine. Perhaps they’ll rent a car (we’re envisioning an eco-friendly Ford Fusion) in L.A. and drive down the Pacific Coast Highway? We can’t think of a more romantic trip ending for the world’s favorite newlyweds.