3 Marketing Partnerships that Worked & Why

3 Marketing Partnerships that Worked & WhyThe marketing team at Burger King came up with a genius proposal in August—call a ceasefire with rival fast food chain McDonald’s and join forces to a create a burger that could possibly solve world peace. It was called the McWhopper and Burger King formally asked McDonald’s to help make them at select locations around the world to celebrate Peace Day on September 21.

Unfortunately, McDonald’s put on its favorite “monolith corporation” hat and turned Burger King down for the McWhopper. The world was bummed, but merely the idea of a joint burger gave Burger King some positive attention.

Though the Burger King/McDonald’s partnership failed, there have been successes between brands in the past. Here are a few examples when setting aside competition was a win for both sides.

Apple & Product Red

The makers of the world’s most popular smartphone also head some of the world’s most popular marketing. From its legendary 1985 Super Bowl ad to small spots on sustainability and diversity, Apple carries an image as polished as its products.

One of Apple’s longest relationships is with Product Red, a non-profit organization that raises money to help increase awareness for and fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS in Africa.

Product Red partners with Apple, along with many other reputable companies, to create their signature red branding on popular products. In Apple’s case, the product is a red iPod or iPad case.

Every product sold earns money for Product Red, which is a big win for both the charity and Apple’s reputation (and sales) alike.

Why it Works: Apple gets the best of both worlds—give to a charity while also increasing their sales with Product Red items.

Target & Star Wars

Since Disney acquired LucasFilm several years ago and announced the making of “Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens,” its marketing push for the new movies has been pure bananas. You can’t go anywhere without catching the Star Wars craze, but nowhere is it more apparent than inside a Target retail store.

Share the Force and Force Friday are both extremely successful campaigns, where fans can buy exclusive Star Wars toys and other items at Target, as well as share their favorite pictures and Star Wars memories on social media.

Why it Works: Everyone loves Star Wars, and Target is already a world leader in retail. It only makes sense to bring the best of both worlds together.

Starbucks & Yahoo!

Like Target and Star Wars, media and retail often make great partnerships because they offer complementary services. This is also true for coffee retail giant Starbucks and media mogul Yahoo! which came together in 2010 to create a digital entertainment network at thousands of Starbucks locations.

The network gave coffee drinkers access to news stories, videos, sports, and other content on their smartphones, tablets, or laptops while they were connected to Starbucks Wi-Fi. Yahoo! has gone in a different direction since 2010, but the partnership did give an advantage to both sides who had something to gain.

Why it Worked: A better quality network meant more people through the doors at Starbucks and the content provided by Yahoo! improved their reputation as a leader in content production—a title they still fight to hold today.

About Missy Ward

Missy Ward has been in affiliate marketing since 1999. She is the Co-Founder of Affiliate Summit, FeedFront Magazine, GeekCast.fm, itsaWAHMthing.com; the Co-Publisher of Revenews.com, Founder of AffiliateMarketersGiveBack.com and manages many of her own affiliate sites. Visit her affiliate marketing blog at MissyWard.com.

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