Happy Birthday – by the biggest whistles in the world

This blog examines the business side of show business from all angles… including the exploitation, for commercial gain, of two enormous sisters singing Happy Birthday to their elder sibling. Yes, you read that right.

One business that really knows how to use a little show business flair for commercial benefit is Cunard, the venerable ocean liner brand. I can think of few organisations as adept at finding the most spurious reason to do something with a little showbiz flair, which can then be exploited for PR and social media purposes. Cunard are world class in their execution of this business strategy.

The most recent example of this was the celebration of the flagship’s tenth birthday: Queen Mary 2, the only true ocean liner in service today, was launched by Queen Elizabeth II in 2004 and now has ten years’ service behind her. To fully exploit this, her two sisters, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria rendezvoused in Lisbon; Victoria as part of a Canary islands cruise and Mary and Elizabeth arriving on the last stop of their respective winter world cruises. They then sailed together across the Bay of Biscay and arrived in Southampton, where the Duke of Edinburgh toured the flagship before an evening firework display.

The highlight?

The two younger sisters serenaded Mary with an extraordinary rendition of Happy Birthday.     Victoria, at 90,000 tonnes and Elizabeth at 90,901 tonnes, tuned their ships whistles to hit the requisite notes, which takes some doing. That’s 180,901 tonnes and £620 million worth of flutes to serenade the liner. Not something you will see every day.

That is using show business flair to drive business. Happy Birthday, Queen Mary 2!

Enjoy the performance




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