It’s hard to believe 2009 has come to a close and we’ve kicked off 2010. At the beginning of the year, it probably seemed like Tiger Woods was one of the safest celebrity endorsements possible. One year can change a lot, with Accenture and AT&T severing ties and Tag Heuer as well as Gillette dropping him indefinitely. From Michael Phelps’ infamous bong photo earlier this year to Chris Brown’s assault of his then-girlfriend Rihanna, it’s always risky business to partner with a celebrity. But on the other hand, a well-chosen partnership can result in a huge payoff for a company, such as Jenny Craig spokesperson Valerie Bertinelli. Who would have thought she’d look so great on the cover of People?
Of course, H&M, Kohl’s and Target are masters of the retailer-exclusive lines. Kohl’s boasts star power like Daisy Fuentes, Avril Lavigne, Vera Wang and Britney Spears. Target just signed runway designer Zac Posen, but also has Isaac Mizrahi, Rachel Ashwell and Paul Frank in its stable. H&M may do it the best, with Jimmy Choo, Stella McCartney and Chanel’s Karl Lagerfeld designing clothes for their customers.
Another area worth mentioning is how brands are leveraging technology and social media.
This year was chocked full of brands jumping on the iPhone bandwagon and building apps as a way to connect and engage audiences with the brand in a totally new way. Some brands have done really cool things with their iPhone apps. For example, Timberland has an app that helps people find outdoor expeditions in key cities across the country, lets users view a “microcatalog” of Timberland products, gives people a fun game to play on their phone and provides tunes that are great to listen to for outdoor activities.
If you’re an avid concert attendee, then I know you appreciate Zippo’s iPhone App, which has been called the most popular branded app on the iPhone. Here’s a brief article on it and a YouTube video showing the app in action: https://www.gomonews.com/zippo-concert-lighter-iphone-app-has-become-most-popular-branded-download/
Brands on FB:
Facebook is another area where some brands have been crowned king. This article from Slate takes a look at “the Facebook 50”: https://www.thebigmoney.com/slideshow/big-money-facebook-50-0
You can peruse the additional list below, but what about you? What brand partnerships were winners (or losers) for you in 2009? Any you’d suggest that folks haven’t dreamed up yet?
Additional Brand Partnership Winners:
Cindy Crawford andJC Penney
Miley Cyrus and Wal-Mart
Bob Vila and Sears
Ty Pennington and Sears
AMEX – Ellen Degeneres, Kate Winslet, Tina Fey
Ashton Kutcher and Nikon
Gwen Stefani and HP
U2 and iPod/iTunes
The Food Network and Kohl’s
Brand Partnership that Didn’t Work:
Anna Nicole Smith and Guess
Paris Hilton and Carls Jr.
Danica Patrick and godaddy.com
Joan Rivers and Geico