It also has a licensing agreement with figurine manufacturer Bradford Exchange, raising fans’ hopes for a range of “Downton” dolls — Scheming Thomas and Admirable Bates, perhaps.
North American fans also can soon drink “Downton Abbey” wine, marketed by Wines That Rock, the California company behind Rolling Stones’ 40 Licks Merlot and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon Cabernet Sauvignon. The “Downton” red is a genteel departure for the firm, a French claret reminiscent of those favored by the early 20th-century British aristocracy.
Cele Otnes, a professor of marketing at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, says the richly detailed world of “Downton Abbey” is key to viewers’ intense bond with the show.
She likens it to “Mad Men” — “It’s not just a television program, it’s really an aesthetic” — and cites reported rises in sales of cravats, waistcoats and sherry as evidence of a “Downton”-driven appetite for Edwardian elegance.
“It’s that whole thing about presenting a lifestyle,” she said. “We get in the house, we get inside these characters’ lives. We see inside their bedrooms, their bathrooms, their kitchens. We can absorb ourselves not only in the story, which is compelling, but in the details of their lives.”