For our new series, we’ve selected 30 of our favourite partnerships from around the globe – created by leading PR and Partnerships agencies, in-house and the team at Kin.
Some collaborations feel like a natural fit, whereas others, you may never have considered until they came and conquered.
We hope you can take inspiration from some of these weird and wacky tie-ups.
Uber & English National Opera
Uber partnered the English National Opera for a drive-in experience, enabling people to watch live performances – whether they own a car or not.
With the usual line-up of music concerts, festivals, and movies cancelled throughout 2020, Covid-19 stemmed many of the common outlets for art and culture. Thankfully for opera fans, Uber found a way to get people back to watching a live show together, safely.
The tech company provided “Uber boxes” for performances of Puccini’s La Bohème, at Alexandra Palace in north London.
The initiative followed research by Uber, which found that more than half of Britons were feeling the effects of “cultural cabin fever” and believed live music and arts would improve their sense of wellbeing.
English National Opera’s ‘Drive and Live’ performances helped to make opera safe and accessible in difficult times, whilst the Uber Boxes appealed to young people who don’t own a car. Users simply booked an Uber Box before pre-booking an Uber ride to and from the venue.
The campaign, created by Hope & Glory PR, gave Uber coverage amongst a high-brow audience and, in particular, targeted those who might be going out for a spot of culture – ensuring that when it comes to travel, the Uber app is the first one that car-less urbanites reach for when getting out and about.
The partnership also helped to extend the English National Opera’s live experience to new audiences, starved of cultural immersion due to the national lockdown.
LEGO & Nintendo’s Super Mario
Two names, synonymous with childhood fun across the generations, united to create a new physical play experience to change how people interact with Super Mario using LEGO.
Neither a video game nor a traditional LEGO brick-based set, LEGO Super Mario is a new product line that features an interactive LEGO Mario figure who collects coins in real-life game levels created with LEGO bricks. Letting kids experience the playful world of Super Mario like never before.
By seamlessly incorporating the latest digital technology, LEGO Super Mario is a highly social, interactive and collaborative experience for kids, enabling them to freely build the world of Mario and play with him in the very world they have created.
The partnership exposes each brand’s vast legions of fans to the other, creating a novel experience to ensure both LEGO and Super Mario retain their status as titans of popular culture.
Bohemian Rhapsody & BA
Queen front man Freddie Mercury worked as a baggage handler at Heathrow airport, before finding fame with the band in 1970.
To celebrate the rock legend and the theatrical release of the new Queen movie Bohemian Rhapsody, Lime devised a partnership between British Airways and Heathrow Airport, where baggage handlers paid tribute to their former colleague, by delighting passengers with Mercury inspired dance moves.
Other activities at Heathrow included Queen songs being displayed on arrivals boards, a competition for BA Executive Club members to win tickets to the film premiere, whilst customers named Freddie, Frederick or Farrokh (the legend’s real name), departing from terminal 5, were invited along with their travel companions to use the British Airways first class lounge. The film trailer was also played on board 140 BA flights for the month of October.
Virgin Atlantic typically monopolise ‘fun’ in the aviation sector. This partnership closes the gap, injecting personality into the BA brand by playing on their heritage with the Queen frontman before he soared to the heights of rock stardom.
At the same time as drawing the attention of BA’s huge audience to the upcoming release of Bohemian Rhapsody.
DFDS Seaways & The Beano
The Beano has entertained kids since 1938, and 80 years on, it’s still jumping with jokes, loaded with laughs and packed with pranks! Targeting 7-11 year olds, it needs to continually engage with new audiences to retain its status as Britain’s favourite comic.
With thousands of children travelling with them over the summer holidays, DFDS were looking for new ways to keep their younger passengers entertained on their journey. The ferry operator could have produced their own activity pack that would have kept younger members of the family entertained. But with the Beano on board, the family entertainment reached a whole new level.
The Beano created a bespoke travel themed special edition of the comic for DFDS to distribute on board the ships. The comic saw Beanotown’s characters causing mischief and mayhem as they sailed away on their holidays. To bring the experience to life, Dennis the Menace came on board for a photo shoot, the children’s play area was ‘Beanofied’, a Beano themed treasure hunt was created on board, guiding families to key areas on the ships, whilst a Beano illustrator was on board for a day to teach a group of school children how to draw their favourite Beano characters.
The extra value delivered by the quality of the Beano content, plus the magic factor introduced by parents’ own fond memories of the cherished comic and its characters, meant the activity packed more punch than if DFDS had simply produced something themselves.
And the Beano were able to distribute 120,000 chances to influence young reader’s comic buying preferences, with each copy offering a fantastic subscription offer for readers.
Evian & Spiderman
Reigniting Evian’s hugely successful ‘Baby & Me’ campaign (which also saw a clever tie up with Wimbledon), this collaboration with Spiderman reinforced Evian’s Live Young proposition, with on-pack promotions to encourage purchase the bottled water, whilst promoting The Amazing Spiderman 2 to millions.
At the heart of the campaign was a 70” spot, entitled ‘The Amazing Baby & Me 2’. The campaign saw 100 million bottles of branded water produced and $20m of promotional value achieved.
Comparethemarket.com & Batman & Superman
Comparethemarket.com linked up with Warner Bros. Pictures to offer limited edition Aleksandr and Sergei toys, with the two brand characters dressed as Batman and Superman.
The promotion celebrated the release of the then upcoming film, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, whilst neatly aligning with Comparethemarket’s Meerkat Mondays two for one cinema ticket promotion, which helps millions of customer to enjoy the magic of movies for less.
In addition to a year’s worth of 2 for 1 cinema tickets, for a limited time, customers could also get their hands on Limited Edition Meerkat Movies Toys inspired by either Batman or Superman when purchasing insurance or switching energy with comparethemarket.com.
The Aleksandr toy is dressed in Batman’s trademark suit, complete with cape and mask, while Sergei is transformed into Superman, the Man of Steel, complete with biceps and sixpack.
A charming TV ad showed the two characters having to find their inner superheroes as car problems put them in danger of missing the film.
Burger King & Impossible Foods
This canny partnership aligns Impossible Foods, the plant-based meat maker, and Burger King, the fast-food titan.
The burger making spectrum is long, and these two brands sit at polar ends of it. Impossible Foods targets the growing plant-based niche, while Burger King are firmly established as customer favourites in the fast-food market. It’s hard to imagine the plant-based market having an interest in lunching at Burger King, and likewise, in Burger King’s loyal customer base enjoying a meatless burger.
The Impossible Whopper bridges this gap, exposing both brands to the others’ vast audience – giving vegans and vegetarians reason to go to Burger King, and showcasing Impossible Foods’ plant-based meat to Burger King regulars.
Game of Thrones & Oreo
In honour of the final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, Oreo released a limited-edition cookie range inspired by the show. While the flavour was classic Oreo, the cookies were marked with the insignia of Houses Lannister, Targaryen, Stark and the Night King.
Oreo’s masterpiece was their meticulously reconstructed stop-motion Game of Thrones opening credits, using 2,750 cookies to promote one of its largest-ever brand collaborations.
Then to drive further social engagement, fans of the show were able to pledge their loyalty to Houses Lannister, Targaryen, Stark or The Night King via the brand’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages – driving credibility for Oreo amongst Game of Thrones large swathes of loyal fans.
McDonald’s & Burger King
Argentina’s Burger King franchise played a masterstroke as they invited diners to take their custom to their arch-rivals for one day only, to help McDonald’s with its Children with Cancer fundraising effort.
The feel-good campaign, dubbed ‘A Day Without Whopper’, showcased Burger Kings’ charitable selflessness as they removed their signature sandwich from the menu for a day, encouraging burger lovers to head to the Golden Arches to support the cancer initiative.
Vitabiotics Wellkid & Marvel
It’s no secret that kids care little for pills and medicine – which is why Marvel’s partnership with Vitabiotics Wellkid works so well.
The product uses Marvel’s superheroes to entice its young audience to take their vitamins – “powering the adventures of young heroes” and “promising to support health across the universe”, whilst ensuring Marvel remains central to their core audiences’ day.
For further reading, here are the links for parts two and three of the series.