When one established company promotes another, tapping into each other’s markets and generating sales to a combined audience, it makes good business sense.
Companies are now eager to join forces after seeing the success of power couples such as BMW & Louis Vuitton, Nike & Apple, and UNICEF & Target, realising the financial benefits and kudos that comes with a happy pairing.
And, by and large, the consumers love it – think H&M collaborating with brands like Versace and Alexander Wang to bring high-end luxury to the high street.
Not all brand partnerships work, of course. Some for ethical reasons – Lego famously broke ties with Royal Dutch Shell after mounting pressure from Greenpeace; others because they’re ridiculous – KFC’s well-intentioned partnership with Breast Cancer Awareness ended after being criticised for selling fried food to fight cancer.
Some co-branding opportunities don’t come to fruition because one side isn’t sold on the idea, as with Burger King inviting McDonald’s to join forces to create the now mythical McWhopper. Meanwhile, fashion giant Vetements, who partnered with 17 different brands to be voted fashion collaborator of the year by Vogue, has been asked to team up by Papa John. Yup, the pizza people. Vetements are yet to take up the offer.
Here are a few other instances that might have seemed too out there to work, but came together beautifully.
Star Wars & CoverGirlLucasfilm CoverGirl
Pizza Hut & FarmVillePizza Hut/Zynga
AC Milan & Hello KittySanrio/Adidas Italia
Levi’s & The Museum of Contemporary ArtLevis/MOCA