11 Feb

Brand Partnerships in 2019: more than jousting?

by our Head of Brand Partnerships, Chris Wilson


Why should a brand implement a Brand Partnerships strategy in 2019? Bud Light, Football & Dragons?


Like many, I thoroughly wasted 4 and a half hours of my life on Sunday 3rd February watching the snore fest which was the Patriots-Rams Superbowl.


However mid-way through the dullness, an unexpected ray of light was shown with a minute-long advert from Bud Light


Now for many casual consumers, the advert was taking a familiar tail with the Bud Knight gallantly entering the jousting arena on his noble steed, offloading his Bud Lights (for safe keeping) and charging his opponent.


But then the twist! Out of nowhere The Mountain from Game of Thrones tosses the Bud Knight from his horse and offers a hands-on execution before Daenerys Targaryen’s dragon burns the Bud Light Kingdom to the ground.


Where did that come from?


The brainchild of Wieden & Kennedy and Droga5 fits two of the highest regarded brands together to create what may be the largest brand partnership in history, on the biggest sporting stage with a mic drop of a moment to finish.


The partnership got a huge amount of exposure throughout the game. Not only was #ForTheThrone a Top 5 hashtag but according to Salesforce’s annual Super Bowl report, Bud Light won the top spot as the most mentioned brand.


It’s not the first time that Bud Light has worked wonders in the partnership space with NFL, having previously installed win fridges in the greater Cleveland area, which were primed to open when the Browns won there first game since 2016.


For the price of 10 fridges full of beer, think of all the fantastic social content delivered for Bud Light. It also connects the brand with that fantastic moment where your sports team wins.


I mean it’s a no brainer Sports fans are avid beer lovers, so why wouldn’t they like it?


All in all, Bud Light are partnering with brands that have similar ethos & values on a part of the consumer journey to maximise the exposure. And all of this at a cost of the price of a traditional marketing campaign.


Dilly Dilly!


Strategic reasons for initiating a Brand Partnerships Strategy:


Of course, the example of Bud Light is very much in the upper echelons of what is achievable for a brand partnership. And Bud Light have paid heavily for it to be there.


Not every brand has a multi-million-dollar budget with an award-winning Director (Red Wedding) available at their beck and call. But even without these luxury tools shows by sharing assets and creative capabilities, two brands when partnered correctly can deliver fantastic reach and results. Afterall a problem shared is a problem halved.


There are a huge amount of opportunities at the other end of the spectrum where brands can use restricted budgets to join together to punch well above their weight.


For me there seems to be some real winners and losers in today’s brand marketing landscape, some brands are acutely aware of their marketing challenges and are tackling them head-on with new and interesting strategic marketing messages, by taking risks and innovating their strategy by developing creative partnership collaborations with exciting brands with interesting properties.


On the other hand, there seems to be a large number of brands across multiple sectors who are completely missing out by not developing a brand partnership programme as a part of their marketing mix.


My overall view here is that there are SO many advantages to partnering with another brand from developing greater awareness of your products by piggybacking on your partner’s audience reach, to creating collaborative and highly targeted marketing campaigns that drive engagement and ROI.


Additionally, other added benefits lie in creating a better perception of your brand to audiences that sit outside of your current customer demographic or ‘comfort zone’.


Why outsource?


With the market being so saturated with opportunities to partner, brands can have a cluttered view on partnerships sometimes, with regular opportunities arising with new content providers, Multi-Channel networks (Lad Bible etc.), tech providers, influencers and sponsorships.


By outsourcing a part of your overall partnerships function you have the opportunity to work with partnerships experts that can create an attractive partnerships proposition, one that aids and benefits your marketing and commercial functions. You also can access to a unique ‘black book’ network of connections that will provide instant feedback on your offering which will provide the opportunity for you to test and learn your proposition with target partners.


Why Ingenuity?


Having extensive experience in helping brands to develop an effective partnership offering, the ingenuity team are best placed to provide consultancy services to help you build your offering and then create a robust sales and marketing plan that will generate you the leads with target partners. (To see more, please check out our new website here).


Our cross-category experience lies in building partnerships strategy and business development for brands such as Merlin Entertainments, Nickelodeon, Cannes Lions Festivals, Tough Mudder, Lastminute dotcom, The Times, Virgin Red, Beano and Hearst.


If you’re interested in engaging new audiences or developing a new way to market your brand via strategic partnerships, drop me a line at chris.Wilson@ingenuitylondon.com to discuss.



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