I was an avid Saturday morning cartoon watcher as a kid. I enjoyed all the classics – Batman, Taz-Mania, Recess, X-Men, Pinky and the Brain and so on. But one morning, while munching away on cereal, I was stopped in my tracks. Johnny Bravo was on an episode of Scooby Doo! My young mind was blown, how could a cartoon from one world, be in another? It was so exciting, so ground-breaking, for me at least.
That was my first experience of a creative crossover. Two separate entities coming together to create something. It appealed to Scooby fans, Johnny Bravo fans, and made them watch a whole new show if they weren’t already aware of it. Maybe it was ground-breaking.
And many, many years later, this concept still fills me with excitement. Except now it’s less about mystery solving dogs, and more about the world’s top brands.
There are many reasons why I find this interesting, and it goes beyond appealing to, and luring in a whole new set of fans or customers. In fact, a lot of the time both brands will have very similar clientele – which is why they work. Take Cheetos and KFC, who collaborated to create a Cheetos inspired chicken sandwich.
One big reason is that big brands only want to work with the best. When they want to expand or dabble in a new market, they don’t make an uneducated attempt themselves. They find the best in that business, and use their experience, skill, and status to collaborate. Lego couldn’t build a new line of runners themselves, so they worked with Adidas to make something very cool.
Another reason that brand collaborations open up new doors is the budget element. Two brands gives you more budget to play with. Maybe why we’re seeing more of it now, as the pandemic tightens all our purse strings. For example, take Chupa Chups. They probably wouldn’t have had the budget to create a fashion line. They did have the iconic imagery and nostalgic element though. So a collaboration with FILA was perfect.
Finally, the PR angle on these collaborations is huge. Two major brands coming together is a headline, before you even know what it is. Which is probably half the reason they do it. Which is fine, especially if it’s a campaign for good, like when Nike teamed up with Sharpie to create a runner that prompted people to write encouraging, positive things about themselves on them. (I know that’s my second sneaker reference, but I don’t care!)
At Verve-Showrunner, we’ve started to dip our toes into the creative collaboration market ourselves. For Pride month, we teamed up with The George, and Bean and Goose, to bring a new type of LGBTQ+ Bar to the city – a delicious white chocolate one, with all profits going to an LGBTQ+ charity. Plus, this month we launched “AIB Home Brew ” a new coffee collaboration between AIB and Bear Market Coffee, which aimed to help AIB customer’s ease their way into their mortgage journey, by helping them make their coffees at home instead.
Hopefully, this trend continues, and we’ll see more brands come together to solve more issues, create more flavours, and make more sneakers!
Verve is an agency celebrating 30 years at the top of the events, experiential and marketing industries. This podcast pulls from that wealth of experience, giving key insights from the past, tips for the future, and everything in between.
You can listen to all of The Verve Experience episodes here: https://audioboom.com/channels/5045240
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