When two complementary brands create content together, also known as “collaborative content,” the outcome can be mutually beneficial and goals can be reached that would not have been possible without working together. Big brands Playboy and Red Bull created some collaborative content recently with great success. One of the biggest benefits of co-producing content is having access to each other’s audiences. Find out what other benefits there are to be had in the latest episode of Here’s Why with Mark & Eric!
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Mark: Collaborating with brands complementary to your own can lead to exponential gains for all parties. In this episode of “Here’s Why with Mark and Eric”, I’ll ask Perficient Digital’s Eric Enge what he learned in a recent chat with Playboy’s Senior Vice President of Marketing for Digital Media, Robin Zucker. Eric, you got to talk with Robin Zucker who directs the digital media marketing of the huge Playboy brand. Now, how does she view the marketing landscape today?
Eric: Well Mark, Robin told me that she’s seen pretty dramatic change in what constitutes effective marketing over the years. Traditional marketers have thought of marketing as a broadcast message: we craft a polished brand message, the audience passively receives it. But the modern marketer knows this won’t work. Consumers have way too many choices of content and have become immune to the direct sell. Robin said you have to be producing real, authentic content or it will have little impact.
Mark: Ok, so high-quality engaging content. That’s great, but what then? What has Playboy done to multiply the effectiveness of that content?
Eric: They’ve tabbed into the huge power of collaborative content.
Mark: Collaborative content, what’s that?
Eric: Collaborative content is when two brands, working together, produce something that appeals to both of their audiences. Each brand gets exposure and access to each other’s audience.
Mark: Well, can you give us an example where Playboy did that?
Eric: Happy to! Robin shared with me Playboy’s collaborative campaign with energy drink brand Red Bull. One of Red Bull’s celebrity endorsers is a guy called Danny MacAskill. Red Bull features MacAskill’s hair raising stunts in a number of videos that have gone viral.
Mark: But what was the tie in with Playboy? I mean, did they have him do stunts in a bunny costume?
Eric: So surprised that Playboy or Red Bull haven’t hired you away from us, Mark. No, they had him do something much more exciting. They had Danny MacAskill jump the pool at the Playboy Mansion!
Mark: Woah, talk about a bunny hop! Thanks everyone, I’ll be here all episode. Remember to tip your servers! But seriously, how did that work out for both brands.
Eric: Well, the video has over 2.6 million views!
Mark: Impressive, but what elements made this click so well for the audiences of both Playboy and Red Bull?
Eric: Well, for one thing, both brands already had huge audiences, and the video contained no self-promotion of either brand. At the same time, the video had clear associations with both brands. Action, adventure, and feats of daring are all part of Red Bull’s brand message.
And of course, MacAskill performs his stunts on Playboy Mansion’s grounds with the familiar Playboy Bunnies scattered about. That reinforces Playboy’s brand messages of a luxury lifestyle. The key here for both brands was presenting those messages in an indirect but engaging way that not only entertained their audiences, but was guaranteed to be reshared by them.
Mark: So what general takeaways do you have for brands wanting to explore collaborative campaigns like these?
Eric: First, audience targeting. There has to be a match between the content and the audience to which that content is to be delivered. Second, it has to be authentic, non-commercial content. That’s essential, especially if you want your audience to share the content with their friends.
Next, even though the content has to be non-commercial, it still must have brand relevance. It can reinforce the emotions and associations you want people to have with your brand without being selly-selly.
Finally, pay attention to the measurement of Key Performance Indicators. That allows you to know what worked and to fine tune future campaigns. So give some thought to non-competitive brands you can reach out to for collaborative content campaigns. If each brand has an audience that would have value for the other brand, you may be able to create marketing gold!
Mark: Thanks Eric! Now for more examples and insights from Robin Zucker of Playboy, be sure to click on the link to Eric’s full interview in the notes for this episode. And don’t forget to subscribe to our channel to get more useful videos like this one. You’ll find a handy subscribe link at the end of this video or in the notes below. Thanks for watching and we’ll see you next time for another episode of “Here’s Why with Mark and Eric.”
Eric Enge leads the Digital Marketing practice for Perficient Digital. He designs studies and produces industry-related research to help prove, debunk, or evolve assumptions about digital marketing practices and their value. Eric is a writer, blogger, researcher, teacher, and keynote speaker and panelist at major industry conferences. Partnering with several other experts, Eric served as the lead author of The Art of SEO. Learn More About Eric Enge