When Two Brands Are Better Than One: Part 2

Today – in our follow-up on Tuesday’s post about co-branding – we’ll discuss co-marketing. But instead of talking about it in general terms, let’s delve into the topic using a medium that is of interest to a lot of our Tenlegs filmmakers.

Let’s talk about movies.

Many filmmakers might scoff at the idea of including a glorified advertisement in their projects, but they’re forgetting how iconic the right product placements can actually be.

For example, Tom Cruise in Ray-Bans in Risky Business and Top Gun

Great co-marketing comes down to finding the right two brands to bring together.  It’s not about creating a hybrid product like with co-branding, but about associating two brands in order to enhance or alter the perceptions of one or both brands.

In terms of great films, it’s about including a product or brand that deepens our understanding of a character, a place, or a theme.  It’s a difficult task; you can’t necessarily include the product from the company who is offering you the most money, but you almost always can find brands that make sense in your fictional world.

One of the most innovative film studios, Relativity Media, has found a way to marry the demands of taking on clients who actually want to participate in films with the artistic demands of finding the right movie to make the branding experience mutually beneficial.

Basically, Relativity Media will sign on corporate partners, who each have the exclusive right to be the official sponsor of a given consumer good – like bottled water.  The company won’t flood (pun intended) their movies with this brand. You’re not going to find a gangster drinking SmartWater. What you will find is SmartWater on set, at red carpet events and in movies/scenes where such a product actually makes sense. Since Relativity Media always has new projects coming in, the task of finding the right artistic fit is not so daunting.

tomcruise tomcruise2

Even if you’re not working with a full-scale film studio, there are always ways to be innovative to help fund your movie.  Maybe your project is local, and you can ask a neighborhood store, bar, or restaurant to partner up?

More than anything, let’s just remember going forward that the stigma of product placement needs to be rethought.  After all, real people choose products that project a certain image to others. Why shouldn’t fictional characters do the same?


When Two Brands Are Better Than One: Part One

When the right two companies or brands join forces, amazing things can happen.  Figuring out the right way to partner up with another company is key to making a hybrid ad campaign work.

First things first one must determine whether the two products should be co-branded or co-marketed.

For today’s post we’re going to stick to co-branding.

Co-branding is basically when two products are united into one super-product, if you will. Think Doritos Locos Tacos – two like-minded companies (Doritos and Taco Bell) with similar demographics and flavor sets came together to enhance their respective brands by each attracting their own loyal customers to the other’s product.  It was a natural way for both companies to broaden their reach and create a new product that excited fans.


Click the link below to see some of the best co-branding examples from recent years:




Events Happening Now: Dark Circuits Festival

From June 14 through 23, 2014, Hans Tammen’s DARK CIRCUITS FESTIVAL features performers who work in contemporary electronic music practices such as circuit bending, no-input mixers, laptops, turntablism, analogue circuitry, network sniffers, live coding and soldering, plus other instruments we may have never heard of yet.


Take a look at the detailed schedule here: http://tammen.org/darkcircuitsfestival/

Performances and workshops are going on in all different locations across NYC and many of them are free! You should definitely check it out.


Artists Engaging Companies in Activism

As an independent artist, you may not feel ideologically aligned with large corporations, but your perspective, your experience, your art means something to many companies who seek true engagement with consumers’ passions.

Absolut Vodka has actively aligned itself with the arts and tried to engage in the social issues that its customers care about.

Here’s a tweet from last year lamenting the demise of the famed 5 Pointz graffiti park in New York City:


The tweet generated (121 retweets, 69 favorites) a substantial increase over the typical Absolut tweet (1-10 retweets, 1-5 favorites)!

It demonstrates that consumers are ready to welcome companies to join them in the issues they care about.  Art initiatives, in the case of Absolut and other brands looking to connect with millennials, is a natural common ground as artistic endeavors are always – to some extent – about connecting to fellow people, be it through graffiti art, film, poetry, or anything else.

So figure out how your art connects not only to fellow people, but to the brands you and your friends love. You might be surprised to find that some of these companies are your biggest advocates!