Media and entertainment brands have, historically, accounted for the majority of partnership activity, but categories such as automotive are becoming
more prominent. Many brands run their partnership activity through their existing sales promotion agencies or tie it in with event sponsorship.
Agencies predict that the market will become more commercial, with brands, in effect, being paid for delivering effective consumer leads to other companies. “We are putting more deals together with a commercial element ,” says Whitmore. “Some clients are getting money from partner sales which they can then use to top up their marketing budgets.”
Partnership deals certainly offer big opportunities , but not every brand will find its ideal match without turning to more traditional sponsorship activity, media owners and events to gain credibility by association.
Chambord and London Fashion Week : Logical Match
Chambord has sponsored London Fashion Week for three years. The tie-up has proved hugely successful for the high-end spirit brand, as it has cemented its fashion credentials.
The drinks brand provides product support and a branded bar area during the shows, and Charlotte Ashburner, brand manager for Chambord and Tuaca, claims it has a natural affinity with fashion. “Chambord is aimed at ladies who enjoy luxury and are confident about fashion,” she says.
Chambord also sponsors the Ascot Fashion Show, as well as a pre-Fashion Week party in association with women’s monthly magazine Marie Claire. The partnership has evolved naturally , with Chambord also having featured at Vivienne Westwood shows. It also uses the tieup with London Fashion Week as a marketing tool in both on- and off-trade activity.
In August, Chambord also launched two bespoke branded nail colours in con-junction with Nails Inc, while, last month, Harvey Nichols ran a promo-tion in which customers were offered Chambord Champagne cocktails and French martinis when they had a manicure.
Galaxy and the British book awards : Well-read
Galaxy has sponsored the British Book Awards for the past two years. The association is a key part of its ‘Triangles of Pleasure’ strategy targeting the chocolate brand’s core female audience during their ‘me time’ . Senior brand manager Sarah Mellor says Galaxy’s research revealed that one of the key activities for women settling down on the sofa was reading. In line with this, Galaxy teamed up with the Richard & Judy Book Club, whose Galaxy-branded stickers feature on 40% of books sold in the UK. According to Mellor, the affinity has helped Galaxy carve out a ‘unique territory’ in the market. Galaxy has worked with key players in the book industry to set up book clubs, offer reviews and give free titles to readers. It has also advertised its products in books, and planted them in public places for consumers to find, with branded ‘pick me up’ stickers on them. Harper Collins, Transworld and Penguin have donated copies to distribute. The brand also encourages consumers to comment on books they have read on a dedicated branded Facebook page.
Mr & Mrs Smith and Saab : On the right road
Boutique hotel expert Mr & Mrs Smith lent its style credentials to car brand Saab when the two teamed up to launch a branded interactive route planner at www.mrandmrssmith.com/routeplanner . Sponsored by Saab, the route planner creates tailor-made experiential UK road trips. Consumers can plot their journey, with the added benefit of expert advice on hotels, restaurants and gastropubs along the way.
The route planner uses Microsoft’s Virtual Earth mapping technology, which includes road data and aerial imagery.
The service also allows users to avoid congested motorways and opt for a scenic route instead . The map is integrated into the Mr & Mrs Smith website to maximise the positive brand association.
Colette Casey, manager of strategic abovethe-line communications at Saab, says the “innovative partnership provides the tools for the independent thinking our customers demand, while being fun and informative”
7 months ago