Oprah Winfrey's decision to publicize Meghan Markle's new vegan coffee series to her 19.2 million Instagram followers was worth at least $ 1 million and is probably the most valuable piece of free advertising in history, experts told MailOnline today.
PR guru Mark Borkowski told MailOnline that the "superlattes" for oat milk, valued at $ 28 per pack, are the first "small steps" towards Meghan and Harry, who are building a billion dollar mark in the US .
Ms. Markle's coffee investment is the first since she and Harry emigrated to have a private life and seek "financial independence" from the California royal family – but it will likely still "raise eyebrows," experts say.
The record for a promotional Instagram post was $ 500,000, which was paid to Kim Kardashian in 2015. However, Borkowski said Oprah's social media video was at least a million dollar post in free advertising.
He said, “Having Oprah Winfrey endorse your product is the golden ticket in global advertising for any business. Oprah is also very picky about what she advertises, and if a new company launches a new product that reaches so many people, it would cost millions of dollars – and the best thing for Meghan is that in this one In case many people who have seen it do not feel that something is being sold to them at all. Having a friend like Oprah is something money can't buy and it leads to the product flying off the shelves.
Oprah, America's biggest TV star valued at $ 2.6 billion, called the drink her "new drink of choice" on Instagram. While its maker, California start-up Clevr Blends, claims it brings all kinds of health benefits, is ethical, environmentally friendly, and a brand committed to giving a S ** t. The packaging claims that it boosts immunity, brain health and digestion, reduces stress, and improves focus.
Markle appeared on CNN Monday to thank the "silent heroes" of the pandemic when it was revealed she had invested in an oat superlatte company
Meghans & # 39; Neighbor & # 39; Oprah advertised the brand on their Instagram page – a favor that experts believe is worth millions of dollars in free advertising
Oprah posted the products on their Instagram page on Sunday night and gave the brand a huge plug for their 19.2 million followers
The team behind Sussex Backed Coffee that claims to be dedicated to the world
The UK born CEO
UK-born Hannah Mendoza co-founded the company with 31-year-old Roger Coppola in January 2019.
The couple both attended UC Santa Barbara, with Mendoza graduating in 2014.
Her address is listed as a $ 1.2 million Berkeley home, and her social media feed is full of posts promoting wellness and positive thinking.
The creative boss
Hayley Covarrubias is a Berkeley graduate in sustainable environmental design.
After three years at the Student Organic Garden Association, she moved to Clevr as Senior Creative Director in May.
The operations man
Roger Coppola, 31, is a graduate of Biopsychology from the University of California.
He was initially an academic staff member at the UCSB Neuroscience Research Institute in Santa Barbara.
He then worked for the game company Tapjoy for four years before founding Clevr with Ms. Mendoza.
Elton John's former publicist Gary Farrow, who represents many British stars, has warned that despite the valuable free publicity, the Sussexes could ultimately face a gigantic tax burden as authorities in the US and UK try to reclaim some of the large sums of money that Earn stars with the "wild west" of online influencing.
Branding experts have said that promoting a product to Oprah is the "golden ticket" for any advertiser because it is "picky" about what it is promoting and has tremendous political influence in the US.
Mr Borkowski said the Sussex people were "smart" in the way they focus on products that reflect their own passions for the environment, education and healthy living.
He said, “This coffee brand is the first step in building your global brand. They are still in the foothills – but by focusing on America, they are focusing on the largest and most prosperous advertising market in the world. And if they can become a stand-alone brand with authenticity, such as America's answer to Sir David Attenborough on the environment, and build media exposure with Netflix, they are well on their way to becoming a billion dollar brand.
Meghan has invested in the women-run company based in Montecito, where she, Prince Harry and their 19-month-old son Archie now live in a £ 11 million mansion. It is believed that Meghan contacted the company, which donates 1 percent of sales to "food justice" organizations after trying their product. It sells the instant lattes in three other flavors – matcha, chai and coffee – for 21 servings for £ 21.
Public relations expert Gary Farrow said, & # 39; I advise my clients to put aside 50 percent of everything they make of these Instagram posts. Oprah's post will be worth at least $ 500,000, and you can be sure the helmsman will check it out. "
He added, "It may be Meghan's project, but it can only be because of Harry's royal name. He's fully in LA and lost touch with his British subjects. Does he think people here can afford £ 21 for a coffee in the middle of a 3.1 million unemployed pandemic? It's a royal p *** take and the queen should take away her titles.
Richard Fitzwilliams, royal commentator and former editor of International Who & # 39; s Who, said the investment could create friction with the palace.
He told MailOnline: “These kinds of comments by members of the royal family raise eyebrows for good reason. Would Harry, who is sixth on the throne, do this? It would be inappropriate.
& # 39; The Sussexes are financially independent following their hugely lucrative Netflix deal. However, if the Sandringham Agreement is reassessed, I suspect that this type of endorsement of a commercial product is discouraged. Of course, they are no longer executives and can do more or less what they want, as the announcement of this investment clearly shows. "
Miss Winfrey, a guest at the royal couple's wedding, wrote, "On Christmas Day, my neighbor M sent me a basket full of goodies!" In case her 20 million followers had trouble finding out, she added, " Yes, that M & # 39; followed by a crown emoji.
Along with another plug, Miss Winfrey, 66, posted a video in which she made a tumbler of turmeric-flavored latte by adding water and declaring, "It's delicious." The fans were not aware of the Duchess's involvement in Clevr Blends aware that was later revealed by Forbes website.
Is a cup of Meghan's & # 39; Superlatte & # 39; really good for you
Some of the goods sold on Clevr Blends' website include a "golden" turmeric "superlatte" and a "macha superlatte".
According to Clevr Blends, the SuperLatte is "the most delicious, most nutritious instant latte in the world".
The drink contains adaptogens – non-toxic plants that are said to help overcome stress and fatigue. However, this claim is skeptical.
Clevr Blends also uses Ashwagandha, an Indian herb that is said to improve focus and reduce stress and anxiety. Clinical studies "prove its magical properties". Lion's mane and reishi mushrooms are “organically grown in China in open greenhouses with natural light and fresh air”.
Mushrooms have been shown to help lower cholesterol, especially in overweight adults, and are one of the few non-animal sources of vitamin D. They also contain B vitamins – and selenium, which supports the immune system.
Matcha – powdered green tea – contains high levels of flavonolds, which are known to lower blood pressure, and L-theanine, which is believed to increase relaxation.
Meanwhile, Meghan made public appearances for the first time since she announced three weeks ago that she had miscarried in July.
In a video message for the US news broadcaster CNN from the gardens of her mansion, she welcomed the "silent heroes" of the coronavirus pandemic and praised key employees and those who volunteer at food banks. Meghan, 39, and Harry, 36, have helped several charities distribute food in Los Angeles.
Forbes said the Duchess intends to invest in more women-run businesses as she "has made gender equality a major contributor to it".
Clevr Blends has a UK CEO, Hannah Mendoza, who started the company with Roger Coppola, the only man on the team.
In a statement, Meghan, who failed to disclose the size of her stake, said she is meant to "support a passionate entrepreneur who prioritizes community building alongside her business."
She added, "I am proud to invest in Hannah's commitment to sourcing ethical ingredients and creating a product that I love personally that has a holistic approach to wellness."
Ms. Mendoza said: “Entrepreneurs need funding, but they also need consultants who care deeply about what they are building. I am grateful that I found both of them in the Duchess of Sussex. "
The Sussexes are expected to keep their promise not to discredit the Queen through their dealings. Buckingham Palace declined to comment, but a source said Meghan's association with Miss Winfrey was "not particularly well advised" without making clear her involvement in the product.
Harry and Meghan already have a multi-million dollar contract with Netflix.
In October, Mendoza posted a photo of herself in hiking gear, glowing next to a giant mushroom growing out of a tree trunk.
"Hannah has one of those moments of awe of mushrooms (a common theme on the Clevr team)," she wrote.
“Mushrooms should make you believe in magic – they are ancient organisms that talk to each other, exist on every inch of the world, and heal our bodies in unthinkable ways.
“Did you know that the largest living thing on earth is a mycelium network? Aka a mushroom! & # 39;
During the clip, Oprah revealed the contents of the basket of the women-run Californian brand Clovr, referring to their neighbor & # 39; M & # 39 ;.
Meghan billed the company as a "woman run". Co-founder is the 31-year-old Roger Coppola
In November, Mendoza showed a photo from one of its suppliers in Santa Barbara that described Sweet Mountain Top Farm as "a bad team of women farmers on a mountain growing flowers and herbs in the clouds."
Markle reportedly contacted the company after trying their products for herself in 2017.
How will Harry and Meghan make their money when in LA?
Harry and Meghan followed in the footsteps of Barack and Michelle Obama, who signed a production deal with Netflix for television and film projects.
The path Ms. Obama took after serving as first lady – and indeed the career that Hillary Clinton has made – could inspire Meghan as she moves into her future.
The former Suits actress is likely to be in great demand with publishers who see dollar signs at the prospect of a revealing memory.
Recent books by Ms. Obama and Ms. Clinton topped the bestseller lists and were accompanied by tours that filled venues like rock stars.
Experts have claimed that U.S. television networks might be willing to pay Sussexes' book deals at £ 38 million ($ 50 million), £ 20 million ($ 25 million) for U.S. television interviews, and £ 470,000 ($ 600,000) based on the amounts that the Obamas have secured the White House since they left.
As a former lifestyle blogger, Meghan would have another opportunity to revive the Tig blog and become an A-list influencer. Maybe she works with brands, signs sponsorship deals, and gets paid to post about brands on her blog and social media.
In April 2019, Kensington Palace announced that Harry was working with US chat show Queen Oprah Winfrey on a series of documentaries on mental health.
Harry and Oprah will be co-creators and executive producers of the project for Apple. The multi-part documentary series focuses on both mental illness and mental well-being.
Away from the television, Harry could turn to the well-paid lecture group, where he could rely on his self-confidence and charisma to bring in lots of money.
With his training in leading others and his experience of performing on stages around the world, Harry could become a sought-after motivational speaker.
Harry has his own net worth including an estimated inheritance of £ 20 million from Princess Diana and £ 7 million from the Queen Mother. Meghan is believed to be worth £ 4 million, mostly derived from her seven years in suits.
Mendoza confirmed Markle's investment by saying, “Entrepreneurs need funding, but they also need consultants who care deeply about what they build.
“I am grateful that I found both of them in the Duchess of Sussex.
“You can feel your passion for what we create, and I couldn't imagine a closer partnership.
"We look forward to the road ahead of us."
Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR in NYC, a leading public relations agency, said the Duchess' investment is "worth much more than a check" as the product is now likely to become a "household name".
Jasmine Birtles, founder of MoneyMagpie.com, added that the Duchess's public engagement is worth "millions" and that she may have gotten good business thanks to her star power.
Ronn stated: & # 39; Add the Duchess of Sussex to the list of high profile investors in start-ups. The old adage of all you need is a dollar, and for investors in startups, a dream often applies because it is extremely difficult to succeed in the startup world, ”he said.
& # 39; Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have unlimited earning opportunities through advertising contracts, partnerships and more. Investing in startups is just one way to get overabundant. This makes sense as part of a broader strategy for an entire brand portfolio.
& # 39; Just like Jay-Z & Beyonce, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West have invested in businesses, it makes perfect sense for the Duchess of Sussex to invest too. The company, Clevr, also appears to be in line with its social justice platform, with the statement that the brand has also donated 1 percent of sales to organizations that fight for food justice in the United States. The money is currently going to El Centro in Santa Barbara SB, an organization for mutual aid and community. & # 39;
& # 39; Everything about this investment is geared towards the Duchess's personal brand, which has real potential to resonate with consumers. Their authenticity and product recognition bring with them an invaluable currency that very few startup consumer brands will ever experience. I see a bright future for Clevr coffee with potential revenue in the millions, ”he added.
Jasmine Birtles, founder of MoneyMagpie.com, added to FEMAIL that Meghan's investment in the company will be worth millions regardless of the size of her investment.
She added that she wouldn't be surprised if Meghan got a good deal of business with the company because of her star power.
& # 39; Many celebrities have invested in start-ups very successfully. Ashton Kutcher has made some really amazing investments. He was an early investor in Skype, AirBnB, and Uber. There are some actors who did very well and others who lost their shirts. Paris Hilton invested in cryptocurrency and lost money. There are a lot of these startups, some happen amazingly well and others fall like a rock very quickly
“Investing in startups is a very risky undertaking for celebrities or ordinary people. One should be very careful and only invest money that can be afforded to lose.
“What often happens is that neighbors, friends, and family members decide to start a business and people think it's going to be great.
“People can get in on the ground, and I did that and lost money in the process. I think when it's a friend or family you need to be extra careful, and your natural tendency is to help – but you need to be extra sure that it has legs and extra care. It can make you feel bad when something goes wrong – just have to be careful. However, if you were to invest 100 euros in Google as a start-up, you would be a millionaire now.
Media mogul Oprah has gotten close to both Meghan and Prince Harry (36) and attended their wedding in May 2018 (picture)
“I definitely suspect that if Meghan had any sense, she would have told them to get a good deal. Given the publicity she'll be giving them, I wouldn't be surprised if she said I like it for half the price. I would assume she got off to a good deal given her worldwide recognition and PR.
“Investing in startups is a really good thing, but I'd say it's good to invest in more solid things first, in pensions, blue chips and stocks and shares, and then put a little bit into startups. I think even if you are in your twenties this is a good time to start.
"Meghan is nearly 40, so I would hope she has other investments by now."
Clevr Blends offers a range of powdered superlattes that cost $ 28 per pack of 14 cups and come in flavors such as turmeric and matcha.
They also sell "organic coffee made from Colombian arabica mixed with oat milk and coconut cream, powered by adaptogens, mushrooms, and probiotics, naturally sweetened with monk fruits".
It also sells a $ 18 brand milk frother and a sold out travel mug.
All contain adaptogens – natural substances typically found in plants that are said to help the body counteract and adapt to stress.
Mendoza founded Clevr Blends after setting up a "funky coffee pop up bar".
“We traveled the California coast mixing adaptogenic lattes and mushroom coffees on the back of a delivery truck. It was great, ”she writes on the company's website.
“Our drinks made people feel great – but they were hard to recreate at home.
“We needed an easier way to bring these magical elixirs to people's daily rituals … so we went to the kitchen!
“We set out to create the most delicious, nutritious instant latte in the world.
"After 1 year of formulation and careful procurement of the ingredients later, our SuperLattes were born!"
The company says it sources and manufactures all of its goods in Santa Barbara.
It is said that only organic or non-GMO ingredients are used and that they also want to "donate a percentage of our earnings to organizations that fight for food justice in the US".
Before Mendoza got into the superfood business, he worked as a volunteer English teacher in Brazil.
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