Brand Collaboration

Marriage or a fling?

Kara Melchers

Managing Editor, BITE Creativebrief


Take the youngest creative director of a major Paris fashion label, add the world’s most famous footballer, and bring them together with a photographer the industry describes as ‘visionary’. What you get is the latest collaboration project for NikeLab. This month, Olivier Rousteing releases his much anticipated ‘Football Nouveau’ collection for the popular sports brand. Modelled by Cristiano Ronaldo and shot by Nick Knight, the campaign is the latest in an ongoing trend for high-profile collaborations that bring luxury fashion to the highstreet.

The successful partnership allows Balmain to start a relationship with a new, younger audience, and Nike in turn get access to one of the world’s most critically acclaimed fashion designers. The addition of Nick Knight and Cristiano Ronaldo add an extra layer of creativity, and a whopping great fanbase to kick-off the campaign. While collaborations in fashion can be likened to a sexy fling - exciting, though never meant to last, the alternative is Red Bull and GoPro who have made it down the aisle. While the two brands have worked together for years, last month they publicly declared their relationship when Red Bull became an equity partner in GoPro. The shared vision of creative collaboration, content marketing and the continued use of cutting-edge technology give strong foundations for this long-term partnership.

As with the NikeLab x Olivier Rousteing collaboration, leveraging the combined audiences will fast-forward success. Red Bull has 57 million fans across its social channels, while GoPro has 24 million. The joining of these two fanbases will only strengthen each brand’s shared ambition to act as a media company. Whether you’re in it for the long-term or just a brief fling, it’s shared values that bring shared success.

Read on for examples…

The McWhopper That Got Away

It was almost the fast food lover’s dream: the coming together of two iconic burgers, the Big Mac and the Whopper. But alas, this one was not meant to be.

In August 2015 Burger King wrote an open letter to its rival McDonald’s, proposing to mark International Peace Day with a truce embodied by the McWhopper. The new burger would be made with ingredients from both Burger King and McDonald’s dishes in a purpose-built restaurant in Atlanta, the midway point between the chains’ headquarters.

McDonald’s declined the offer, sending media around the world into a frenzy. This prompted thousands of disgruntled fans to take to social media and make their own McWhopper in the name of world peace.

With McDonald’s out of the picture, other fast food chains quickly moved in. The result was a one-day pop-up shop selling the new Peace Burger, a recipe taking elements from the Whopper, Denny’s Slamburger, Wayback Classic, Cheese Krystal, and Giraffas’ Brutus.

Being prepared for all potential responses to the open letter is a sentiment to the planning and bravery of Burger King. The campaign not only created huge global coverage for the brand, it increased awareness of World Peace Day by 40%.

Agency: Y&R, New Zealand

billion media impressions
earned media

Habitat Lures Henry Holland

Launched last month, #henryforhabitat is the new collaboration between fashion designer Henry Holland and household furnishing retailer Habitat.

Limited edition designs will feature a series of artwork from the SS16 House of Holland season, translated across both textiles and upholstery.

The partnership gives Habitat the recognition of working with an influential designer, and Henry Holland has the opportunity to move into a new market.

Henry also stars in the #habitatvoyeur campaign, a series of short films that peer into the homes of celebrities, leveraging their individual fanbases for the brand.

Agency: Portas, London

Bodyform's Experts Empower Women To Be Red.Fit

Bodyform’s latest campaign Red.Fit is about empowering women to keep fit right throughout the body’s monthly cycle. The Red.Fit programme was developed alongside a series of experts including Sports Scientist Georgie Bruinvels, who broke the expert advice into four key phases – BLEED, PEAK, BURN and FIGHT. Frame Gyms created a series of bespoke exercise videos to compliment each phase. Natural fast food restaurant Leon advised on nutrition and new recipes, and performance coach Faye Downey provided motivational inspiration, all of which is being used across social media channels.

Agency: AMV BBDO, London

Sleep In A Van Gogh With Airbnb

The Art Institute of Chicago partnered with Airbnb to introduce the Van Gogh exhibition to a new audience visiting the city. The gallery transformed one of their exhibition spaces into a replica of Van Gogh’s famous painting The Bedroom, and invited the Airbnb community to spend the night. The design of the room took into account perspective and brush-strokes, to bring visitors as close to the artist’s work as possible. The final result attracted global media coverage for The Art Institute and Airbnb.

Agency: Leo Burnett, Chicago