While it's not unusual for commemorative events to spark a marketing frenzy, the 100th anniversary of the Titanic's sinking is inspiring a wide range of unusual and varied business ventures. From memorial cruises to commemorative collectibles, businesses are making the most of the marketing opportunity.
Cruises, perhaps the most obvious – or the most bizarre, depending on your perspective – are among those looking to cash in. Several companies are offering trips that mirror the infamous ocean liner's route in an effort to give adventurists a feel for the Titanic's journey.
The Titanic Memorial Cruise, set to depart from Southampton, England, April 8, will retrace the original voyage of the so-called "Unsinkable Ship," which crashed and sank on April 14, 1912.
Other ocean-bound options include Fred Olsen Cruise Line's mini-Titanic cruise or a trip on the 694-passenger Azamara Journey, which is booked to visit the resting place of the Titanic April 15, after departing from New York.
In California, meanwhile, an organization is putting together a gala for those looking to commemorate the event without heading to sea.
The Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild is hosting "The Last Dinner on the Titanic," allowing revelers to get decked out in their best 1900s-inspired attire while enjoying a night of fine food and dancing.
A similar dinner is being hosted in Ontario, Canada, by Haldimand Art Works. Guests there are also encouraged to dress for the event, during which they will receive a boarding pass featuring their new identity, including documentation relating to a real passenger aboard the Titanic. They will learn about their character's life, destination and reason for being onboard.
Instead of hosting an event, one TV jeweler is angling for a more lasting commemoration by releasing its own line of Titanic jewelry. Broadcast shopping network Jewelry Television unveiled its new Titanic Jewelry Collection this month, ahead of the official anniversary of the famed ship's maiden journey.
Created in partnership with Titanic Museum Attractions, the Titanic Jewelry Collection, which features pieces in the art nouveau and Edwardian styles typical of that era.
"Our purpose in bringing this collection to the public is to honor and celebrate the fashionable women onboard the Titanic, several of whom were international style icons," said Pat Bryant, chief marketing officer for JTV.
Among the pieces is a gold-tone red-and-white crystal rose brooch inspired by then 22-year-old movie star Dorothy Gibson, and a chandelier necklace inspired by the Victorian-era journalist Edith Rosenbaum, both of whom survived the Titanic's sinking.
The jewelry line is absent the giant Heart of the Ocean necklace made famous in the blockbuster "Titanic" film, but does have a similar piece – a blue resin pendant surrounded by white crystals and inspired by survivor Lucile Carter.
Other marketing ventures and products inspired by the 100th anniversary include:
- The Belfast Titanic Gift Shop's 100th Anniversary Porcelain Collection, featuring a wall clock, plate, set of four mugs and three-piece teapot set.
- The Titanic 100th Anniversary coin set from APMEX, which features a 1 oz. .999-fine silver coin with a colored image of the Titanic on the open ocean on its obverse. The reverse displays the Raphael Maklouf depiction of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II as well as the date of 2012.
- A company called Zaazle's has debuted a commemorative stamp, featuring a picture of the ship, along with the dates 1912-2012.
- A company called Revell's is offering a detailed 100th anniversary edition Titanic model kit features thread to simulate rigging and a commemorative display stand, as well as authentic reproductions of the Titanic's illustrated 25-page promotional booklet, the ship's menu card and three White Star Line cruise ship postcards.
- A commemorative coal coin from 401 Designs incorporates a limited supply of coal that was actually recovered from the shipwreck. The coal is the only recovered object rescued from the ship that can be sold to the public.