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Brand Collaborations

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The article from Contagious magazine by Tom Morton (TBWA\London)

The article from Contagious magazine by Tom Morton (TBWA\London)


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  • 1. Brand Collaborations / This article appeared in Contagous issue Eighteen. Contagous is an intelligence resource for the global marketing communiy focusing on non-tradiional media and emergng technologes www.contagiousmagazine.com For more information please contac Harry Gayner on +44 (0) 20 7575 1822 or harry@contagiousmagazine.com
  • 2. expert opinion / brand collaborations / Brand Collaborations / The days of temporary, tacical pairings are over. Today’s alliances are mutually beneficial, and built to las / By Tom Morton / R ecent years have seen a remarkable courtship ritual in marketing. Brands and media that had kept examples of proper synergy, where two brands’ strengths multiply. Pairing a chic brand with a mass brand, such their distance in fear of competition or blurring their self- as Matthew Williamson’s range of Sky Plus PVRs, might image have started to pal up with each other. create temporary buzz, but it’s the marketing equivalent Fashion and luxury brands led the charge. Theo Fennell of a trophy marriage. As utility becomes a stronger crafted silver lids for Marmite; Karl Lagerfeld created concept in marketing, a true collaboration should lead dresses for H&M; now Diesel is designing a version of to the creation of a new form, something that would not the Fiat 500. exist without the two brands. Lego’s collaboration with Star Wars created a range that was far more playful Partnerships put brands into new people’s hands. In and had more character than a typical collectable figure, luxury travel, Virgin Atlantic, Scott Dunn and Descent and generated over a billion dollars of sales for the two struck exclusive deals with marques to supply guests brand owners. The rationale for any partnership is to with chauffeured cars. On a less grand level, everyone create something you could not achieve alone. Brand could enjoy Walkers’ Heinz Ketchup flavour crisps. In collaborations are no different. media, Publicis Groupe opened a joint venture with Google, an organisation that Sir Martin Sorrell described The biggest factor driving brand collaborations is as a ‘frenemy’. technology, as splicing software together is often easier than changing the run on a production line. And we are Suddenly Hunter S. Thompson’s description of seeing more tech brands using collaborations as a route something looking ‘as out of place as a pair of cashmere to market. Google boasts a series of collaborations, Levi’s’ sounded like a decent marketing idea. lending its Maps and Earth technologies to enhance An early issue of Contagious called these matings other brands. Yahoo! has been revitalised as the brand alliances. It’s apt to choose a word from diplomacy iPhone’s default browser. Premier Inns built details of its rather than marketing, because the weak versions of hotels in to TomTom satnavs. Expect many tech brands these pairings can owe more to the calculation and to distribute themselves through other brands. image management of diplomats than to the imagination If collaboration is such a commercial opportunity, brand of brand builders. Alliances can be tentative toes-in- management needs to open up to it. The old ‘target the-water, where brands pull back as fast as they go audiences’ are better understood as real audiences. in. They can be dynastic marriages, where a big ugly They might be interesting for another brand. Their other partner searches for a mate to bring some looks and life interests might be a source of inspiration for a new to the family. They can be trade deals, where bagging business. Likewise, the notion that a single brand has exclusive rights is a bigger consideration than giving one key message is limiting, when a successful marque value to the public. connects with people through a cluster of activities. The significant and lasting pairings are more than Here, its actual strengths and assets become more alliances. They are brand collaborations. If alliance is useful than a dry list of values and personality attributes. a diplomatic term, collaboration is a creative term: two Conversely, brands will need a new modesty about what parties working together to make something new. The they can and can’t achieve on their own. Brand owners real opportunities lie here. can stop protecting the white space around their brands Collaboration brings two brands’ strengths together. and start looking for what they can achieve when they Partnerships such as My Coke Music and Nike+ are blur it. almost as familiar as individual brands. These are
  • 3. contagious 66 / 67 PlayStation + Nissan TiVo + Domino’s Pizza Gran Turismo is one of PlayStation’s biggest Digital recorder TiVo collaborated with Domino’s franchises. The game enables players to drive to present an interactive ordering system, where real cars on real racetracks around the world. Its Domino’s pizzas can be ordered, selected to be high-definition outing on PlayStation 3 is the most delivered or collected, and then tracked all through a realistic driving simulator available. Nissan’s new remote control / GT-R supercar promises Porsche-challenging Choosing a Build-Your-Own-Pizza option, TV viewers performance / can choose the crust type, plus select type and number My agency TBWALondon and our sister company of toppings all from the comfort of their sofa. Stream saw an opportunity to promote both brands by The remote control becomes a journeying device bringing real and virtual racing together. between the two services. For example; advertising We created the GT Academy, a programme to recruit points provide access straight from the advertisement real racing drivers from the ranks of Gran Turismo fans. into the digital ordering. The user need only click ‘I want Players from across Europe registered through Gran it’ displayed on the ad with their remote control to be Turismo Prologue’s online game on PlayStation 3. The redirected to the order. Subscribers of TiVo can even fastest gamers competed in national Gran Turismo create a user ID to order their pizzas even more speedily championships for a place at a rallying academy at by visiting the Domino’s website and setting up a user Formula One’s Silverstone racetrack. The academy name and password, which will then provide them with then selected two drivers who underwent professional an account number. Thus the website and interface training to take part in the Dubai 24 Hour endurance work together to direct the consumer between the two race in January 2009. 450,000 people followed the GT brands. Academy online, while 25,000 gamers entered the initial The service function, which was launched in November competition. Sales of Gran Turismo peaked during the 2008, is free of charge to all broadband connected TiVo competition period: Nissan’s GT-R built a waiting list of subscribers. Crispin Porter, the agency responsible, over a year. claims that this led to an additional $100m in online The journey from gamer to rally driver will be the subject revenue. of a five-part TV series later this year, syndicated around Heightening experiences is a natural area for brand Europe to channels including RAI Sports in Italy and collaborations. When entertainment brands combine Dave in the UK. with food and drink brands they create a new area of www.granturismoworld.com/en/gt_academy ‘couch commerce’. http://tinyurl.com/6g54rh
  • 4. expert opinion / brand collaborations / CNN + Facebook AC/DC + Rock Band President Obama’s inauguration gave CNN and Brand collaborations offer particular appeal to Facebook the opportunity to pool resources – CNN’s properties that need new routes to market. Recording live coverage and Facebook’s social network – to artists will benefit especially from collaborations create an online social event for the occasion / that help them bypass conventional album releases. Facebook users were able to talk to each other online Wired magazine reported that Aerosmith earned through the application, while from the same forum more from Guitar Hero: Aerosmith than any single watch a live streaming of the event. This created a live, album in the band’s history. Another fine example is dynamic social space where people could, virtually, AC/DC who presented an exclusive album through watch and talk about the inauguration together. the popular Rock Band computer game / During the event, Facebook reported that 600,000 users The album, which contains the songs from AC/DC’s updated their status during Obama’s speech through the famous 1991 Monsters Of Rock gig at Castle CNN.com live Facebook feed. This had a competitive Donnington, was remixed specifically for the game, edge over other networking sites in that, through the offering game players over 99 minutes of play for each CNN application, viewers could communicate at the instrument. As you might imagine, the collaboration same time as watching, providing a sense of immediacy is something of an endurance test. The difficulty of – being involved directly in the moment as it happened. the game then reinforces the band’s status as skilled Both brands benefited from their joint creation. Facebook musicians and true rock performers. AC/DC gained a became a channel for important shared experiences, wider, younger audience, many of whom were not born while CNN reached a younger audience than its usual when the band was in its heyday. Rock Band gained 35+ demographic. credibility and publicity as a game, as well as 99 minutes www.facebook.com/cnn of hard rock assault course gameplay. MTV’s Paul DeGooyer captured the appeal: ‘An unforgettable concert is now an ultimate at-home entertainment experience.’ www.rockband.com/games/acdc LoveFilm + Guinness The most basic brand collaborations and the wider in-home film community, give brands access to new markets Guinness has positioned itself beyond its and audiences. Guinness and LoveFilm natural heritage at the bar and in to the joined together to offer customers a growing home drinking market. The offer, free Guinness Choice DVD box set of which ran in November 2008, was part of film collections such as the Tarantino a larger campaign in which Diageo sought set, The Godfather Collection, Monty to place Guinness at the heart of home Python and Robert De Niro and Al entertainment. The bigger opportunity would Pacino movies, when signing up for a be for Guinness to create an ongoing month’s subscription to LoveFilm / DVD rental property in order to cement its The promotion, found on multipacks position in home entertainment and give of Guinness, introduced the idea of LoveFilm access to a new audience. ‘Guinness Time’. By linking with LoveFilm http://tinyurl.com/acffm2
  • 5. contagious 68 / 69 Doritos + Xbox adidas + Stella McCartney Technology can add engagement and audiences to adidas has a long heritage of making shoes and almost any brand. Doritos and Xbox launched the clothes for specific sports. Athletes as diverse as challenge for fans to submit designs for an Xbox Jesse Owens, Muhammad Ali and David Beckham Live arcade game that somehow reflected Doritos’ have competed in adidas gear. While the wider brand character / sports industry clothes men well, women’s sports This would be the first game created by the consumers enjoy less of a profile and women’s sports clothing themselves. Tips for participants were to consider sees less brand innovation / aspects such as the intensity of the taste, the iconic adidas’ link with Stella McCartney marked the first time shapes or the bold packaging design. that a high-end fashion designer had created a functional Through the nature of the competition, fans were then performance range for women. Collections include Gym given a large expanse of time in which they had the Studio, Tennis, Running, Golf, Gym Yoga, Gym Dance, chance to engage and converse with both brands. Swim and Cover Ups. The collection is available through Further interaction was also encouraged through invites 600 stores worldwide, including high-end department to test five other games, and a forum for discussing and stores such as Harrods, and Nordstrom, as well as voting on their experiences with these games. Finally, adidas Sport Performance stores and selected sports fans were able to download and play the winning game retailers worldwide. without any cost. Both adidas and Stella McCartney benefit from reaching The winning game, Doritos’ Dash of Destruction, new audiences and helping women who participate in features a Doritos delivery truck and a T-Rex dinosaur in sport. a high-speed chase. The goal of the truck is to reach the McCartney said: ‘I really wanted to change what I saw tunnel at the other end of the map, while the goal of the out there. Sports clothing for women, in particular dinosaur is to eat the truck. Players can choose to either sports performance was such an ill-dressed subject. be the dinosaur or truck. The colours were very basic and hardly any variations in The campaign generated one million Doritos site design. I saw this as a real opportunity to put that right visitors, of which 72% were newcomers. Time spent on and offer women something they could work out in and the site also increased to 11% during periods where still feel good about the way they look.’ users reviewed the games. Further, Xbox Live! saw more adidas claim the collaboration has exceeded their than 160,000 Doritos theme packs downloaded, well expectations for sales, margin and image. As the range exceeding the known benchmark of 50,000. enters its fourth year, sales are growing by an annual Andy Roberts, reviewing the game at www.teamxbox. rate of 20%. com, believes: ‘The coolest part of Doritos Dash of www.adidas.com/stella Destruction is that you get to see what a unique project it has been – where a non-professional designed a game and won the contest, then saw it come to life as an established developer built that game for public consumption.’ Tom Morton is executive planning director www.unlockxbox.com at TBWALondon www.tbwa-london.com Thanks to Mark Earls, Richard Huntingdon (Saatchi & Saatchi London), Gareth Kay (Modernista!), Adrian Langford, Ben Malbon (BBH New York), Frank Striefler (TBWAChiat DayLos Angeles), Silvia Bartels (Tequila London) and Faris Yakob (McCann Erickson New York) for offering examples for this article.