Hubspot recently featured an article via their agency blog about good examples of crossbranding (also known as co-branding) when two brands come together to make a collaborative effort in simultaneously promoting both the brands’ products or services. Now I’m sure we’ve all seen examples where this sort of thing works, erm okay enough I guess. And there are other times when it just does not work at all. And then there are times when it works magnificently. So let’s have a look at those shining examples of extraordinary crossbranding and review what Hubspot picked out.
BRANDS: The Global Fund & Gap
CAMPAIGN NAME: “PRODUCT (RED)”
This campaign is so good, it hurts. The Global Fund teamed up with Gap to produce a new campaign to promote the fight against AIDS in the African continent, called PRODUCT (RED). This campaign is something they’ve been doing since 2006 and Gap isn’t the only company (oh hi Starbucks, Apple & Converse!). That sort of project allows companies to promote a new product or service for a good cause, whilst raising the awareness of the charity’s purpose. This collaboration with Gap is particular great because it features celebrities, from Chris Rock & Anne Hathaway, to Wyclef Jean and Terrence Howard whilst wearing the RED products in each shot. Magazines and news outlets picked this campaign up like hot cakes and it did well to promote the charity as well as the brand. With tag-lines like “Can the shirt off your back change the world?”, the campaign is equally parts evocative and emotive.
BRANDS: GoPro & Red Bull
CAMPAIGN NAME: “Stratos”
Question. What is it that these two brands have in common? Despite the fact that one sells tiny cameras and the other sells energy drinks? Lifestyle. They both boast a very ”Go get em” air of confidence about them that suggests they promote active lifestyles that can be exhilarating and fun. This isn’t the first time these two brands have worked together either. GoPro does its bit by giving sporting professionals and thrill-seekers with their cameras to capture those epic moments live in colour and motion. Red Bull in turn sponsors and promote adventure and sporting events. This ‘Stratos’ campaign seems to be the biggest thing they’ve done together. Using Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian skydiver, daredevil and BASE jumper, the two brands recording Felix jumping out of a space pod 24miles above the Earth’s surface….well damn! This is perhaps one of the greatest collabs ever. Not only did Baumgartner obliterate three previous world records, but both GoPro & Red Bull brought to life that old life motto: “Live live to the fullest”.
BRANDS: Bonne Bell & Dr. Pepper
CAMPAIGN NAME: Flavored Lip Balm
This is before my time so I’ve never heard of this collab until I saw the Hubspot post. I think the ad above is great and the copy is a good read, (considering this was done back in c1975). Belle Bonne has done all-sorts of weird and wonderful lip balm concoctions with other brands, including 7Up, Good & Plenty and Tootsie Roll. Sounds tasty, would be hard not to gnaw off my own lip though. Belle Bonne are also the first company to ever introduce to the world ‘Lip-Smackers’ flavoured lip-balm in 1973. So they had only just collaborated with Dr. Pepper for the first time two years after their breakout product and they have become insanely popular ever since. Sure the collab effort may not be as obvious or extreme as the GoPro/Red Bull collab but these guys are subtle and considerate in their project together. The devil’s in the copy.
BRANDS: BMW & Louis Vuitton
CAMPAIGN NAME: “The Art of Travel“
I found this collaboration to be a bit odd but it made sense quickly. Both these brands sell high-end luxury, one deals with high-quality vehicles, the other deals with high-end fashion. But what else do they share in common? Besides their artisanship, reputation and roof-shattering prices? Travel. They both boast high-end luxury and travel. So with this in mind, both BMW & Louis Vuitton did a campaign that involved a brand new BMW i8 of which LV designed a limited 4-piece luggage set to match the car. The suitcases & bags were even made to fit ‘like a glove’ in the Beamer’s rear parcel shelf. The starting price for both is sky-high but considering their target audience, price isn’t the issue. It’s about travelling in style and luxury. The car and luggage set just ooze sophistication, both designs compliment each other incredibly well because both share both obvious and subtle traits. In form & function, both are the epitome of dapper luxury. Both the car and luggage set even have components that are made from carbon-fiber composite material. Pure swag.
BRANDS: Genius & Spotify
CAMPAIGN NAME: “Behind the Lyrics“
One company is a popular music streaming service, the other is a online hub of collected song lyrics crowdsourced music know-how. Put these two together and what do you get? ‘Behind the Lyrics’ is pretty explanatory. It will highlight certain words, phrases or sentences in a song, which the user can click onto and view the musician’s reasoning for what those lyrics really mean. This idea is so good, many times I’ve wondered why in some songs what the artist really means by that word or what was running through their mind when they wrote that lyric. This is, in a word, genius. *Gong sound*
BRANDS: Pottery Barn & Benjamin Moore
CAMPAIGN NAME: “Experience Colors“
This campaign dates back to the early naughts and it was apparently a fantastic experience for both of these companies to really expose their product to a completely new audience. After being constant bombarded by questions regarding paint swatches in their brochures, Pottery Barn came up with a solution. By collaborating with Benjamin Moore, they had managed to not only answer their customers’ need but went further by creating a special line of paint colours for Pottery Barn customers only. They also created a function on their website that allows their customers pick and select what colours they would like as decor and will even suggest what colours would compliment their furniture. There’s even a paint-finder option for archived paint colours too.
BRANDS: BuzzFeed & Fur Baby Rescue
CAMPAIGN NAME: “Drunk Girls Get Surprised With Puppies“
I remember watching the video to this on Buzzfeed with the sister and we couldn’t stop awwhhing and laughing! Buzzfeed has a real knack for create video content and in this video they teamed up with Fur Baby Rescue (what a name!) to promote their services. Considering Buzzfeed has a readership of over 200 million, it makes sense! So Buzzfeed published an article as well as the video above to get the word out. With links galore in the article and boasting about the great work Fur Baby Rescue does, this collaboration is simply brilliant. It so simple in the way it was done and yet incredibly effective and cost-efficient. You must watch it.
Plus it’s given the Internet some GREAT gifs too!
BRANDS: Alexander Wang & H&M
CAMPAIGN NAME: “Alexander Wang x H&M Collection 2014”
This isn’t the first time H&M has collaborated with a high-end luxury label. They’ve been doing it since 2004, starting withKarl Lagerfeld. The list of previous luxury brands collaborations also include Matthew Williamson, Viktor & Rolf, Maison Martin Margiela, Stella McCartney & Versace. (I still remember staying up early in the morning to order some Versace shoes online and could NOT get through to checkout due to the website traffic rush). Clearly this project works for H&M and in 2014 they’ve partnered with Alexander Wang. As far as I’m aware, this is the last time H&M have worked alongside another luxury label, but this project did well because of a few things. It closed the insanely huge price gap between the two brands (a pair of Wang trainers will set you back £350+ whilst at H&M you can get a pair for on average £20). It also introduced H&M shoppers to Alexander Wang and vice versa. Plus H&M over the years has made big moves towards affordable luxury status (They currently host their on catwalk show during Paris Fashion Week bi-annually now). The beauty with H&M’s previously collaborations with these high-end designers was that it allowed the general public to be able to buy limited designer pieces with a much more affordable price tag. I wish they’d start doing these projects again. I’d like to be able to say I own Prada and not have to sell a kidney for it.
Written by: JR