International Friendship Day: Best brand partnership campaigns in history

Brands across every country and every sector are constantly at extreme levels of competition. Whether they’re selling socks or fitting carpets, every company is competing with another to win more business and drive success. 

But occasionally, businesses decide to come together as part of a co-branding campaign in order to create something special. So, seeing that it is in fact international friendship day – we wanted to take a look at some of the best examples of brand ‘friendships’ and how they came together to create some truly memorable campaigns:

Burger King & McDonald’s 

We’re starting strong. 2 of the biggest hitters in the fast-food industry who have been in fierce competition for decades with 100’s of millions of pounds being spent between them on marketing campaigns.

So, as you can imagine, when the 2 giants came together in 2019 for the “A Day Without a Whopper” campaign it made a huge impact for a truly wonderful cause. At the time, McDonald’s were donating $2 from each burger purchase to the Children With Cancer Foundation. As a result, Burger King told over 101 different stores to take the Whopper off the menu making it unavailable in a whole host of stores (and nowhere in Argentina where the campaign was born) for 24 hours. Instead, Burger King encouraged customers to go to McDonald’s and buy a signature burger to boost sales and ultimately the finances raised for the Children With Cancer Charity. 

In such a cutthroat industry with so much money involved, it was wonderful to see 2 superpowers come together for something so important – great work.

GoPro & Redbull

From 2 giants in the same sector to 2 giants in completely unique sectors on their own. Both GoPro and Red Bull have been able to move away from being just mobile camera and energy drink brands – they’ve both been able to position themselves as trailblazers who are viewed as ‘lifestyle’ brands.

A common feature of both brands is adventure and fearlessness. This was embodied in their co-branded ‘Stratos’ campaign. So how does the partnership work? Essentially, GoPro equips adventurers and athletes from around the world with the tools they need to capture everything on video, from racing to action stunts – all from the athlete’s perspective. Simultaneously, Red Bull uses their superpower brand to put on, run and promote these events.

Red Bull’s director of sports marketing, Sean Eggert, said: “GoPro camera technology is allowing us to complement the programming by delivering new athlete perspectives that have never been seen before”.

This partnership peaked with possibly the biggest stunt that the world has ever seen: Stratos. This incredible feat saw athlete Felix Baumgartner jump from a space pod more than 24 miles above Earth’s surface with a GoPro strapped to his suit. The message was to ‘reimagine human potential’ which is a lovely sentiment and suits both brands perfectly, however, this is just really really cool. Take a look using the link below ⬇️⬇️⬇️

https://youtu.be/dYw4meRWGd4

Kanye West and Adidas

Kanye West is a polarising character that divides opinion across the world. However, his collaboration with Adidas has been nothing short of extraordinary. 

The initial Yeezy Season 1 was released in February of 2015. Fast forward to 2020, and the sneakers had reached around $1.7 billion in annual revenue which netted the rapper around $191m in royalties. 

This maybe wasn’t the most technical marketing campaign from a strategy perspective when it comes to messaging, tonality and placement – but it didn’t have to be. Kanye West’s star power and loyal following were enough to get the ball rolling. When the trainer was released and actually looked good, combined with the fact that they were being worn by some of the most influential and adored celebrities on the planet – meant that the trainer became an instant classic and continued to grow with every new release. Check it out, below ⬇️⬇️⬇️

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gsrg1XTBqNM 

 What’ve we missed?

There are tons of examples of brands coming together that are worth a mention, like BMW with Louis Vuitton, Starbucks with Spotify, Apple with Mastercard and so much more. If you think there are any partnerships that should be refined and featured in our list then let us know on our socials or via email! 

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