The odd couples

We take a look at three unusual brand partnerships and why they worked.

Something is in the water, causing love among the most unlikely brands. But if there’s a natural link between strange brandfellows, teaming up can make real sense. Here are a few examples that have stood out recently:

Beauty and the bank
Makeup and money don’t typically go together, unless a beauty brand is trying to raise some serious coin. Avon celebrated its 125th anniversary by inviting consumers to amass forgotten pennies to benefit the Willow Breast Cancer Support foundation.
Running until Oct. 31, “Every Penny Counts” encourages consumers to roll change into pink coin wrappers and bring them to partner Scotiabank branches across Canada.
Jon Lin, president of Avon Canada, says the partnership made sense because Scotiabank shares their “grass roots reach and commitment to give back to the communities we both serve. Furthermore Avon and Scotiabank have both supported Willow in the past so this partnership is a natural fit.”

Kids and cars
Astral Media-owned Family Channel rolled out a four-province tour this summer to promote Phineas and Ferb: Across the 2nd Dimension, also running on Disney XD.
The cross-country push was led by five branded Toyota Scion cars. Drawing kids in with their favourite show, thereby capturing their parental companions, promoters handed out movie posters containing a secret code and directing people to the Family Channel website to win prizes.
With creative done internally and media executed by Toronto-based TrojanOne, the campaign included ads in Cineplex cinemas and on, YouTube and Facebook.
“Family Channel believes the best way to connect to something is by experiencing it first-hand,” says Peter Furnish, VP marketing, Astral, noting that the show appeals to kids and adults alike – and who else is going to drive all those Toyotas?

Frozen pizza and Tori Spelling
Tori Spelling has recently written books and starred in reality TV shows centred on her maternal side, so it’s not such a stretch that McCain Foods Canada launched its Ultra Thin Crust pizza with her as its first celebrity endorsement.
The campaign, with creative by Capital C and media by Toronto-based AOR Media, featured a contest offering real moms a chance to meet reality star mom Spelling. Ads ran on sites targeting the product’s 25-to-45 female urban demographic, including, and on Facebook.
“The contest garnered six times the number of votes we projected,” said Paul Gallagher, director of marketing for McCain Foods Canada. “This is the first time we have used digital to reach out to consumers with pizza.”
Three contest winners were invited to taste the new pizza with Spelling in Toronto.

With files from Val Maloney and Jennifer Horn